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THE WORK OF THE FRENCH NAVY ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 41 

TEE CAMPAIGN IN GERMAN EAST AFRICA (II.) ... ... ... ... ... 77 


















OCTOBER, i Q 1 5-NOVEMBER, 1916. 




OF the many campaigns into which 
the World War developed the Salo- 
nika expedition was one of the most 
hotly discussed. To many it seemed 
the key which would unlock Central Europe 
to the liberating armies of the Entente Powers. 
To others the undertaking appeared a wasteful 
and risky diversion of forces from other fronts 
where atone the enemy armies could be defeated 
in mass. Accusations, on the one side, of 
allowing politics to influence strategy, on the 
other of neglecting to strike the enemy at his 
most vulnerable and vital point, were freely 
bandied about. There was no subject on which 
expert opinion was so divided and so varied. 
The issues at stake both for the present and the 
future were so tremendous that feeling could 
not but run high, and difference of opinion 
as to strategical means was often connected 
with, and always attributed to, different views 
as to war aims. 

Into this contentious field it is not here pro- 
posed to enter. We are concerned in this 
chapter with the Salonika campaign itself a 
campaign unimportant or all-important, it may 
be, in the general war plan, but of a very 
distinct and interesting character from the mere 
point of view of operations. 
Vol. XII. Part 144. 

It wa-s inevitable that Salonika should in 
one way or another be involved in the World 
War. It was one of the four great ports of 
Europe, the status of which was closely bound 
up with international politics. Antwerp, Trieste, 
Salonika, Constantinople were outlets to the sea 
in which various nations justly or unjustly 
claimed to possess a vital interest. But more 
precisely, Salonika was a point on which Ger- 
manic, if not German, eyes had long been 
greedily fixed. While Germany looked to 
Constantinople and beyond it to Baghdad and 
to Cairo, her faithful satellite and accomplice, 
Austria-Hungary, had dreamed for years of at 
least controlling the side line down the Vardar 
valley to the xEgean. The signal overthrow 
of the Turk by the Christian kingdoms of the 
Balkans in 1912 and the subsequent defeat 
and punishment of Austria's secret ally, 
Bulgaria, left Salonika in the hands of Greece 
and the trade through the Macedonian hinter- 
land in the hands nf lireeee's ally. Serbia. 
Serbia secured free access for commercial 
purposes to the vEgean ami for the first time 
was able to plan an independent eecmoimV 
existence released from the jealous oppression 
of Vienna and Budapest. The outnit:i"u> 
attack on Serbia, by which the Austrn Hun- 



garian Government provoked the- Kuropean 
\Var, was no arbitrary act of an<_'er or offended 
prestige, but a deliberate attempt to overthrow 
tin- Balkan settlement of UU:i and to reduce 
Serbia, the guardian of tin- way to the East, 
miee more to vassahi.'e. Once Serbia was 
involved in war, Salonika was doubly affected- 
It became an objective on which Austria- 
Hungary directed impatient, and Bulgaria 
more wary, glances. It became, too, an 
important port, of transit through which stores 
and, later, guns could pass to distressed Serbia 
from her Allies. Lastly, from the beginning 
of the Dardanelles expedition it became an 
important commercial, and soon an important 
political, centre. 

In an earlier chapter* the Aastro-German 
invasion of Serbia, combined with Bulgaria's 
treacherous attack, has been described. En- 
tente diplomacy had been lulled into a 

couraged from using her sole effective weapon 
instant action. The Entente diplomatists, 
indeed, believed that if the worst came to the 
worst there was at least Greece to count on, 
for not only the Creek Premier, M Veni/.elos, 
but even his political opponent < had acknow- 
ledged implicitly, if not explicitly, that a Bul- 
garian attack OIL Serbia would involve a casus 
foederis for Greek intervention. True to this 
understanding, M. Veni/.elos at once asked 
his King for and proclaimed a general mobiliza- 
tion immediately following on the Bulgarian 
(announced September 23, 1915). Two days 
before, the Greek Premier had approached the 
French and British Ministers in Athens for an 
assurance that if Greece, in conformity with her 
obligations to Serbia, were drawn into war with 
Bulgaria these Powers would supply the 150,000 
troops Serbia was bound by treaty to place on 
the Bulgarian frontier to cooperate with her 

Official phot'jf 

GENERALS SARKA1L AND MAHON (the two central figures) EXAMINING A 


optimism till it was too late. Not only WM 
.here no ad'-'piate number of Iroops available 
11 the Kasti-rn .Mediterranean to support 
Serbia and deter Bulgaria by threats when 
promises failed. S-rbia hers,. If was dis 
* Vol. VII., pp. 349-388. 

ally. Assured of this support, M. Ven zelos 
proceeded to prepare Greece for her part in 
the inevitable struggle. 

To the Entente Powers M. Veni/.elos's inquiry 
win practically tantamount though technically 
it was not equivalent to a forma 1 invitation. 


Oil October 3 Anglo-French contingents began 
to disembark at Salonika, without waiting for 
Bulgaria's attack on Serbia, which would, to 
M. Venizelos have meant Greece's instant 
parti ipatioa in the war. His country being 
still neutral. M. Venizelos found himself 
obliged by Article XCIX. of the Greek Consti- 
tution to utter a formal protest and thereby 
made his constitutional standpoint unexception- 
able. At the same time, both to his mind and 
that of the overwhelming majority of the Greek 
people the British and French came as allies 
of Greece's allies and therefore as friends of 
Greece. The Greek General, Moskhopoulos, 
commanding the III. (Salonika) Army Corps 
was ordered to show, and did show, every 
courtesy to his country's guests, and there 
seemed no likelihood of any disagreement. 

Unfortunately, King Constantino on October 
5 discovered himself to be in disagreement 
with his Prime Minister as to the scope of the 
Greek mobilization. M. Venizelos accordingly 
was forced to resign. The new Premier, M. 
Zaimis, hastened, indeed, to promise " the 
most entirely and sincerely benevolent neu- 
trality " to the Entente Powers and no real 
objection was made to the Salonika landing, 
but circumstances had radically changed and 
the Anglo-French forces found themselves not a 
minute fraction, but the whole, of the relieving 
army that was to save Serbia. 

Their numbers were very small. By October 
9 there were some 15,000 French and 5,000 
British troops landed. Two days later General 
Sarrail, who had been appointed " Commander - 
in-Chief of the French Army of the Orient," 
disembarked and took over the command. 
General Sarrail had played an active part at 
the beginning of the war in France, especially 
during the Battle of the Marne, and was looked 
on as an extremely energetic and resourceful 
leader. * In command of the small British force 
wax General Sir Bryan Mahon, who had with 
him the 10th Division, which had taken pait 
in the Suvla Bay fighting in Gallipoli. The 
Division was composed mainly of Irish regi- 
ments. It was, unfortunately, not up to its 
full strength, as the losses it had suffered had 
not yet been inado good. It numbered some 
13,000 men all told. French forces, however, 

* During the retreat to the Marne, General Sarrail 
was in command of the Third French Army (round 
Verdun), and his al.le handling of it contributed to the 
success of General J off re's strategy. Later on ho 
successfully resisted the German Crown Prince's offensive 
on the .Mouse. 

arrived in greater numbers |{,.f,,,v ih.- end of 
October three French divisions had 
Salonika. The total numbers of the 
French armies for the opening stages of il,, 
campaign were between 30,000 and 40,030. 


Greek Premier, October, 1915, June, 1916, and 
May, 1917. 

It was obvious that whatever was to be done 
must be done quickly. On October 1 1 Bulgarian 
troops under General Boyadzhiyeff crossed the 
frontier at various points, and the Serbians, 
who were putting up a fierce resistance to thr> 
Austro-German advance from the north, found 
themselves taken in flank by an overwhelmingly 
superior force. One of the first objects of tin- 
Bulgarian command was to cut Serbia's oom- 
munications with Salonika. On October 17 
Egri-Palanka and on October 21 Vranjc \\etr 
occupied. On the same day tin- Serbian I Jovern 
ment and the Allied Legations left Xisb for 
Kraljevo ; Xisli was already isolated. 

The objective on both the Itulu irian u-id th.- sides \\.-i- Skoplje (formerly better 
known under its old Turkish mune of I'skuh). 
Skoplje is not only the chief toun of the \ 
valley, but is situated at the junction of the 
Nish-Salonika railway with the branch line t<> 
Mitrovitza, on which the Serbian Second Army 
was retiring. Only by reaching Skoplje could 
General Sarrail's army- attain its <>bj. 
linking up with the nviin Serbian forces. Tin- 
Bulgarians succeeded, for their task was ca-i'-r. 
On October 20 General Todoroff took Veles 



Between Egri-Palanka and Kumanovo. 

(Kuprulu), and two days later his troops entered 
Skoplje. The outnumbered Serbian army on 
the lower Vardar sector was forced to fall back 
towards the Babuna Pass, which commanded the 
entrance to the Pelagonian Plain with its towns 
of Prilep and Monastir. The one hope was 
that the Serbians and Anglo-French, operating 
respectively down the Babuna and up the Var- 
dar valleys, might effect a junction at Veles, 
the place where the Babuna River flows into the 
Vardar. Once Veles were won, Skoplje was 
threatened, for the flat country east of the 
Vardar in this part, known as the Ovche Polje, 
would have allowed advancing Allied forces to 
cut Bulgarian communications between Skoplje 
and Kumanovo. Sarrail, therefore, rushed his 
troops up in the direction of Veles. 

The advanced sector Krivolak-Veles was 
assigned to the three French divisions under 
Sarrail'.-i command, the rest of the Vardar 
valley from Krivolak to Salonika being guarded 
by Sir B. Mahoii's small force. On October 27 
two battalions of the Tenth Division were 
moved up from Salonika and took over the 
front Kosturino-Lake Doiran. On the same 

day the French occupied Krivolak and began 
to push upstream to Gradsko. There was, 
however, little hope of reaching Veles. Failing 
that, there was no way of establishing contact 
with the Southern Serbian army save through 
the difficult country between Krivolak and 
Prilep. First of all, it was necessary to secure 
the position at Krivolak itself, which the 
Bulgarians continued to bombard from the east 
of the river. On October 30 two Bulgarian 
battalions attacked the bridgehead on the 
left bank, but were easily beaten off. The 
French occupied the heights of Kara Hojjali 
across the river and held them^against repeated 
attacks of the enemy. Meanwhile, on Novem- 
ber 3, French detachments seized the bridges 
over the Tcherna (or " Black ") River, of which 
the most important was one at Vozarci close by 
the junction of the Rajec with the Tcherna. On 
November 10 they crossed the latter river and 
occupied the villages of Krushevac and Crkva, 
repulsing on the following four days " violent 
Bulgarian attacks," in which the enemy was 
calculated to have lost about 4,000 men. 
Thence they pushed forward along the left bank 



and occupied the lower slopes of Mt. Arhangel. 
The Bulgarians hurriedly reinforced their 
troop:- there, sending from Veles, in addition to 
the 4ith Reserve Regiment and the 3rd Mnee- 
donian Regiment, the f>3rd Regiment. Mean- 
while the Serbians had been able, with the 
help of some Anglo-French reinforcements, to 
repulse a Bulgarian attack on Izvor (" the 
Spring") at the entrance of the Babuna Pass. 
But this success could not long be maintained 
in face of heavy odds. On November 16 the 
Serbians fell back on Prilep and the Babuna 
Pass was in the hands of the enemy. The 
French on the Tcherna and Rajec were at once 
exposed to fresh attacks. For a fortnight, 
however, they maintained their positions and 
even continued a local offensive. But by 
November 25 the retreat of the Serbian armies 
rendered further operations on the Tcherna use- 
less as well as dangerous. The French forces were 
withdrawn to the right bank and grouped round 
Kavadar. Thence they retired, in conformity 
with a similar movement on the part of the 
forces at Krivolak, through the Demir Kapu. 
This defile stretches for some twelve miles. The 

greater part of it is fairly open and even in parts 
cultivated. But the northern entrance to it for 
some 500 yards or more presents a grim appear- 
ance which has earned for it its name (" Demir 
Kapu" is Turkish for "Iron Gate''). Here 
on December 5 there was some fighting, which 
was renewed on the following days. By Decem- 
ber 9, however, the French had succeeded in 
retiring safely through the gorge and were in 
position on the river Boyemia, with the Brit ish 
Tenth Division on their right. 

Whilst two battalions of this division had 
taken over the Kosturino-Lake Doiran front on 
October 27, the remainder of the division moved 
up from Salonika on November 12 and occupied 
the line east of Kosturino. Reinforcements 
were being sent from England and France and 
already beginning to disembark at Salonika, but 
there were many difficulties in the way of their 
immediate utilization. Communications with 
Doiran were dependent on roads which were 
little better than tracks, and transport of guns 
and stores proved a serious problem. General 
Sir Charles Monro, who since October 28 had 
been in command of the whole British Mediter- 


[Official pltolotnph. 



ranean Expeditionary Force, saw, however, the 
necessity for holding this line till the new 
divisions were disembarked at Salonika. He 
urged on General Sarrail the need for an imme- 
diate withdrawal of the French divisions from 
Serbia. Otherwise there was grave danger 
that the Germans and Bulgarians, who were 
concentrating in the Strumnitza valley, would 
overcome the resistance of the small British 
force and cut off the retreat of General Sarrail's 
army. On December 6 the Bulgarians attacked 
them in great strength, about four times their 
numbers. Fierce fighting continued for three 
days. The Tenth Division showed all the 
courage and toughness which was to be expected 
from the battalions composing it Munster, 
Dublin and Inniskilling Fusiliers, and Con- 
naught Rangers. There were " very heavy 
odds " against them, but they put up a gallant 
fight as they fell back on the positions on the 
right of theBoyemia line. Their casualties were 
about 1,500 and eight guns had to be left 
behind, but heavy losses were inflicted on the 
advancing enemy. In the opinion of General 
Sir Charles Monro the troops, who, it must be 
remembered. " had suffered considerably from 
the cold in the Highlands of Macedonia," " in 
the circumstances conducted themselves very 
creditably in being able to extricate themselves 
from a difficult position with no great losses/' 

Mr. John Redmond had every justification 
for pointing with pride to the gallant be- 
haviour of this Irish division. In the words 
of the War Office communiqu6, ".it was 
largely due to the gallantry of the troops, 
and especially of the Munster Fusiliers, the 
Dublin Fusiliers, and the Connaught Ran- 
gers, that .the withdrawal was successfully 

It was impossible, however, to rest on the 
Boyemialine. The small Franco-British forces 
would have been too far away from their base 
at Salonika, and the Bulgarians from Monastir, 
which they entered on December 2, might have 
taken them in the flank and rear. Already the 
question of retiring into Greek territory had 
been discussed. Having acquiesced in the 
Allies' disembarcation at Salonika the Greek 
Government could not easily object to their 
retiring on the town, but they were alarmed 
at the prospect of a Germane-Bulgarian in- 
vasion in pursuit of the retiring armies. The 
number of Greek troops concentrated round 
Salonika caused nntural, if not altogether 
justified, misgivings to the British and French 
authorities. It was necessary to come to a 
clear understanding that no attempt would be 
made to disarm or hamper the retiring Franco- 
British and Serbian troops. On November 23 
the French and British Governments presented 



tin- Sknulnudis ( lovernment * \\itli :' No'. 1 
stilling that "in view of tile attitude ad.. pled 
by the Hellenic Government towards certain 
questions anvc'iiiii the security of the Allied 
troops anil their freedom of action (two privi- 
leges to which they are entitled in the circum- 
stances in which they landed in Creek terri- 
tory), the Allied l'n\\ers have deemed it neces- 
to take certain measures, the effect of 
which is to suspend the economic and com- 
mercial facilities which Greece has hitherto 
enjoyed at their hands." This partial blockade 
aroused some resentment in Greece, for Kin:: 
Constantine and his Government disavowed 
any intention of attacking or interning the 
Anglo-French troops. Their attitude was. 

audiences of the King, but only vague promises 
that Greece would never attack the Allied 
troop- were forthcoming, and as the Allies 
persisted in their demands a continuation of 
the blockade was neci-.-sary. It was not till 
December 12 that the Creek Cov.-nun'-nt 
accepted in full the demands of the Allied 
Powers, and agreed to withdraw from Salonika 
all Greek troops except one division. This 
acquiescence ws'.s not unconnected with the 
decision reached at the Paris Conference of 
the British and French Governments, at which 
it was determined that though the origin il object 
of the disembarcation, to save Serbia, had 
failed, Salonika should none the less be held as 
R base for future operations. 



however, less clear a? regards our Serbian 
Allies, and they much disliked the idea of 
withdrawing Greek troops from the zone of- 
the Allied armies or conceding to the latter 
full use of the railways and harbours. They 
expressed their willingness to secure for the 
Allied armies a secure "corridor" of retire- 
ment on Salonika with a view to their em- 
barcation there, and pretended to fear that if 
Salonika were to be used as a base for offensive 
operations Greek territory would be involved 
in the war. M. Denys Cochin and Lord 
Kitchener were sent out to Greece by their 
respective Governments, and successively had 

'I'll.- -ni-r.".M<.n i,f (irook Premiers after the forced 

n i^rmtion .,i M. Venizelos was as follows : Ontober 7, 

:ur>. M. /iilmU ; November 7, M. Skouloudis ; June 22, 

1818, M. Zaltnis : September 16. M. Kalogeropoulos ; 

October 9, M. Lambroa ; May 3, 1917, M. Zaimis. 

By December 12 the whole Franco-British 
force had retired into Greek territory. Tem- 
porary lines were at once prepared in expecta- 
tion of an immediate enemy attack. They 
ran from Karasulii (" Blackwater ") on the 
Vardar railway to Kilindir on the Salonika- 
Dedeagatch line. A branch railway connected 
Karasulii and Kilindir. It was for the moment 
the best possible line for awaiting the enemy. 
But the attack never came. The failure of the 
Central Powers to seize their opportunity of 
disposing for ever of the Allied menace and 
occupying Salonika has been variously ex- 
plained. The Skouloudis Government alwavs 
claimed that it was its benevolent attitude to 
the Entente and firm tone towards the Bulgars 
that prevented the attack. Certain it is that 
even anti-Venizelist Greeks at that time viewed 


Greek Premier November, 1915, to June, 1916. 

with indignation the prospect of the hereditary 
enemy treading the sacred soil of Hellas, and 
articles in this strain appeared in popular 
anti-Venizelist papers at Athens. Other papers 
of the same party spoke of allowing an Austro- 
German, though not a Bulgarian, invasion. 
But this was out of the question. The Anglo- 
French already disposed of eight divisions 
the three French which had been in Serbia, 
and five British (the 10th, 22nd, 26th, 27th 
and 28th). There were not for the moment 
available adequate Austro-German forces to 
ensure a successful offensive. The use of 
Bulgarian troops was necessary. But would 
Greek public opinion endure it ? Apparently 
the Germans argued that it was unwise. The 
Sofia correspondent of the Nieuwe Roller- 
damschc Courant frankly admitted on January 4, 
19 Iti, that the Bulgarian General Staff and 
particularly General Boyadzhiyeff had been 
in favour of an immediate pursuit of the 
retreating Allied forces. This course was 
strongly advocated by the Bulgarian Govern- 
ment Press. On the other hand, the Bulgarian 
Opposition parties and Press opposed such an 
extension of hostilities. At this time the 
formerly Ententophil parties in Bulgaria still 
kept up the convenient fiction that Bulgaria 
was carrying on a purely national war for the 
" liberation " of Macedonia. More important 
than these objections was the veto of the 
German authorities. The German Govern- 
ment hoped that King Constantine's policy of 
neutrality had definitely solved all possibility 
of trouble from Greece. As for the Anglo- 
French expedition, it was believed and hoped 
in Berlin and the hope found vent in an 

enormous number of propagandist messages 
to the Germanophil Press of all countries that 
the British and French Governments would not 
indefinitely maintain their contingents in 
Salonika, but would remove them elsewhere to 
meet a much-vaunted invasion of Egypt or 
the already rumoured offensive on the Western 
front which eventually took the form of the 
Battle of Verdun. Besides, the question as to 
whether the German or Bulgarian command 
should control the invading armies was not 
settled, and the ultimate destiny of Salonika 


would lead to wrangling between the Allies, 
especially Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. 
Whatever the reason, the retiring Anglo-French 
army was allowed to take up its new positions 
in Greek territory undisturbed. 

The war in Macedonia thus entered on a new 
phase. The Serbian campaign had been con- 
verted into the Salonika expedition. The 
Entente Powers entered on a defensive which 
might or might not be indefinitely prolonged. 
The town of Salonika itself became the centre 
of interest. 




Salonika lies at the bottom of a basin formed 
by mountains of various heights. On the S.W. 
the mighty massif of Olympus towers up over 
10,000 feet, claiming for itself first place in the 
geography, as well as the legends, of the 
country. Forty miles west of Salonika the 
Vermion (or Neagush) ridge, running due north 
and south and culminating in the Kara Tash 
(or " Black Rock") of 6,234 feet, just fails to 
link the Olympus group with the almost con- 
tinuous line of mountains which serves as 
Greece's actual frontier. This outer circle, 
with only small gaps, runs from the Vistritsa 
(Haliakmon) ST.W. under the name of Nerechka 
(or Peristeri) into Serbia, then N.E. as the 
Nidje Planina (the highest point of which, 
Kaymakchalan, is 8,284 feet) to the Vardar, 
and tin '1101 passes east as the Belasitsa and 
Pirin ranges along the frontier whence it links 
up to the north with the now Bulgarian 
Rhodopo and towards the ^-Egean throws off 
the lower branches of (lie Krusha and Beshik 
Dagh and the rocky three. proimed peninsula 
of Chalcidiec. On the extreme east and west 
respectively lie the "Grey Mountains" (Boz 
Dagh), which traverse the Drama district, 
and the 1'indns uroup, which stretches right 
down to Central (Ireece from Albania. Salonika 
is properly the centre of this geographical 
district. But to the south the chain is not com- 

plete. Chalcidice and Olympus are not joined 
as they must have been thousands of years ago, 
for the sea has forced its way to the north and 
formed a nearly circular bay at the head of the 
Thermaic Gulf. The double circle of moun- 
tains which encompass the rich Bottiaian plain 
is broken by the Vistritsa (Haliakmon) to the 
S.W., the Bistritsa (Lydias) to the west, the 
Vardar (Axios) to the north, and on the east 
between the inner and outer circle of hills the 
Struma (Strymon) flows down to the sea through 
the rift in the Belasitsa-Pirin chain where- the 
strong Fort Rape! was built. There are 
lakes in great numbers in the various valleys, 
but the only ones of importance are Lake 
Tachinos, on the east, through which the 
Struma (lows to the sea, and Lakes Langhaza 
and Beshik (Gk. Volvi), which almost isolate 
the Chalcidice mountains from the cast Mace- 
donian system. Communication with the outer 
world is first and foremost by sea. Salonika 
is rather Mediterranean than Balkan, both in 
climate and character. To the north the 
Yardar Valley, with its single line of railway, 
offered Serbia her one link with the ^Egean. 
The old Roman Via Egnatia, on its way \\est 
from Byzantium to Dyrracliium (Durazzo), 
passed through Philip of Macedon's capital, 
I'ella (now Yanitsa), and the still older capital 
Aigai (Vodena), and then turned north to 



Fiorina, Monastir, Okhrida, and Elbasan. 
This is still the only easy exit to the N.W. and 
the railway from Salonika, after making a 
detour south to Veria (the Berea of " The 
Acts of the Apostles") joins it near Vodena 
and runs close to it all the way to Monastir. 
With the east Salonika is linked by a circuitous 
railway which, in order to serve the more 'fertile 
parts of East Macedonia, goes due north to 
Doiran, then east to Demirhissar, arid thence 
through Seres and Drama finds its way to 
Constantinople. With Greece the Porte had 
always shunned railway connexion, but the 
result of the Balkan wars was to offer Greece 
the opportunity of linking up her railway 
system with Salonika. The Venizelos Govern- 
ment had begun the task which was completed 
after his second resignation, and the new 
" union " line from the Thessalian frontier 
to Salonika was opened on May 21, 1916. 

Salonika itself has had a famous past.* The 
old Greek city of Therme (probably so called 
from its " warm " springs) played a subordinate 
part in Athenian liistory before passing under 
Macedonian rule. In 315 B.C. the Macedonian 
pretender, Kassandros, refounded it and gave 
it the name of Thessalonike, after his wife, the 
daughter of Philip II. of Macedon. In Roman 
Imperial times it became an important town 
on the high road from the old to the new capital. 
It was the scene in 390 of the massacre, in 
penance for which St. Ambrose forced Theo- 
dosius the Great to " humble in the dust the 
pride of the diadem." It saw the perfection 
of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture, to 
which some of its churches to-day still bear 
witness. Menaced by more than one Bul- 
garian Tsar, Salonika sent out the missionary 
saints, Cyril and Methodius, who won the Slav 
peoples for Christendom. Sacked by the 
Saracens in the ninth, and the Normans in the 
twelfth, century, Salonika became a tributary 
kingdom under the Latin Emperors of Con- 
stantinople. Recovered by the Greek Emperors, 
it was seized and lost in turn by three Ottoman 
Sultans and at last put itself under the pro- 
tection of the Venetians. Finally, in 1430, 
Muracl II. besieged, took, and sacked it. It 
was a fearful blow to the Greek Orthodox 
world. One of the most famous of mediaeval 
Greek dirges complains : 

They have taken the city, they have taken it, they have 
taken Salonild ; 

* An admirable account of the kaleidoscopic fortunes 
of Salonika is to be found in "La Ville Convoitee," by 
P. Risal (Pari9, 1917). 

They have taken Ayia Sophia too, the great monastery. 

When Our Lady heard it the ikons wept tears. 
Hush, Sovereign Lady ! weep not, dry thy tears ; 
Once more after long time, after long years thou shalt 
regain thine own. 

The Greeks had to wait 483 years before the 
Theotokos "regained her own." But the 
Salonika which their armies entered in 1913 
was racially a very different city from the 
Salonika of 1430. The Turks had opened it to 
Jewish immigration, and the Sephardim, fleeing 
from the intolerance of the most Catholic 
kings of Spain, had succeeded in making it 


Commanded the British Mediterranean 
Expeditionary Force, October, 1915. 

in the course of four centuries into a half- 
Jewish city. Of its 150,000 inhabitants some 
70,000 were Jews, and Spanish was the domi- 
nant language there. From Salonika trade 
and the Spanish language found their way to 
other towns of Mace.donia and Tfirace. Of 
recent years not only trade emanated thence. 
Salonika was the birthplace of the Young Turk 
Committee which overthrew the tyrant Abdul 
Hamid, only to re-establish an equally ini- 
quitous rule in his place. The question of 
Salonika's lot was not resolved in the pre- 
liminary Grseco-Bulgarian treaty of 1913. 
Accordingly Greek and Bulgarian armies raced 
for it. The victory was to the former. King 
George's armies entered as victors on November 




9, but allowed a. small contingent of Bulgarian 
troops to garrison a part of the town till the 
outbreak of the second war. In the same city, 
on March 18, the King fell a victim to an 
assassin's revolver shot. His son's troops, fifteen 
weeks later, in alliance \vith Serbia, destroyed 
Bulgaria's hopes and expelled their rivals 
from the city. 

Such was the varied history of the city which 
was receiving as its guests a more varied army 
than had ever yet entered it. The first care 
of the Allied Generals was to improvise defences 
against an immediate attack. 

It was necessary to prepare the shortest 
line possible, for at this-time the total force-; 
hardly reached 200,000 men. But Salonika 
was a difficult place to defend in that it required 
almost a complete circ.le of defence round it to 
safeguard it. The problem was rendered 
somewhat easier by the fact that considerable 
Greek forces were guarding the frontier on the 
west jit Fiorina and to the N.E. at Seres. and 
the strongly fortified post of Rupel, which 
held the gateway of the Struma into Rii^t 
Macedonia. It was impossible with the small 
forces nt their disposal for General Sarrail and 
Sir Mryan Mahon to hold either the outer or 
even the inner circle of mountains that surround 
Salonika. On the west the line of the Vardar 
\\n- chosen. Towards its mouth the river is 

marshy and easily defensible and, therefore, 
not many men were required. Leaving the 
Vardar near Topshin the line ran east for the 
Langhaza and Beshik Lakes, finally reaching 
the Gulf of Orfaiio at Stavros ("the Cross"). 
Altogether the distance was some 50 miles. 
Naturally and artificially the line offered good 
prospect of security, and General Castelnau, wli< > 
visited Salonika on December 20, on a tour of 
inspection, expressed himself as quite confident 
about the Allies' power to hold it. Comparisons 
with Wellington's famous lines of Torres Vedras 
overlooked certain palpable differences between 
the relative accessibility and defensibility of tin- 
two positions. But at least there was no 
question of the Allies being caught in a " trap "' 
in Salonika itself or "driven into the sea" as 
the enemy was fond of boasting. The Chalcidice 
peninsula offered adequate, if uncomfortable, 
L'l-ound for retirement if hard pushed, and an 
army which was in touch with the sea on both 
wings and could rely on powerful assistance 
from -battleships, if necessary, need feel in no 
danger of being tr.ippe:!. No precaution was 
neglected to make the position as strong as 
possible. Deep, carefully sandbagged trenches 
were dug in the most favourable positions for 
defence with machine-guns so as to command 
any advance and yet be very difficult for the 
enemy to locate. The official Press correspon- 



3ent described the whole system of defence, with 
pardonable pride, as worthy to "serve? as a 
model for exhibition purposes." 

Precautions of another sort were also neces- 
sary. Following on a raid of German airmen, 
who threw bombs on the field in which, curiously 
enough, Prince Andrew of Greece was reviewing 
some Greek troops, General Sarrail proceeded 
to arrest the German, Austro -Hungarian, Bul- 
garian and Turkish Consuls and their families 
and to take possession of the Consulates. 

Against both ah- raid and Sarrail's reprisal 
the Greek Government formulated an energetic 
protest. The Allies, however, were able to 
show good grounds for their action, for it was 
discovered that the Consulates had served as 
centres not only for enemy intrigues and propa- 
ganda, but actually as storehouses of arms. 
The offending Consuls, further, were treated 
with extreme leniency. They were only de- 
tained a short time and then transported to 
Toulon, whence they returned to their respective 
. countries. 'The German offence against Greek 
neutrality was to prove the first of many. On 
January 7 a Taube dropped bombs on the 

Allied camp without result. It was the 
harbinger of Zeppelin raids later. 

With General Moskhopoulos, the Commander 
of the Illrd (Salonika) Greek Army Corps, 
General Sarrail was on the best of terms. On 
New Year's Day they exchanged cordial greet- 
ings. On the Greek New Year's Day again 
(thirteen days later) the population made a 
public demonstration in favour of the Allies. 
But the situation was too critical to be allowed 
to depend merely on Greek good will. It was 
impossible to say 'how far the Greek forces in 
East Macedonia could be relied on events 
proved they could not to ward off an enemy 
invasion. A vital point was the great iron 
railway bridge at Demirhissar (" Iron Castle ") 
where the line from Doiran to Seres crosses 
the Struma not far south, of Fort Rupel, the 
key of the Struma entrance into Greece. On 
January 12, at the order of the Allied com- 
mand, this bridge and a smaller one at 
Kilindir (near Doiran) were blown up and 
the probability of an attack from this side 
therefore lessened. The Greek Government 
uttered the usual protest, but there was little 


Destroyed by the Allies in order to inttrrupt the communications between Bulgarian and 

Turkish forces. 




n M*C in to >uppose it. wished to do more than 
-a\<- it- face. 

On January 1<>. KUli. General Sarrail was 
invested with the supreme command of the 
Allied armies in Macedonia. (Till then the 
British contingent, under- Cent-mi Sir Bryan 
Mivhon. had been independent of General 
San-ail and subject only to the orders of the 
Cornmandor-in-Chief of the British Mediter- 
ranean Expeditionary Force i.e., General Sir 
C. C. Monro, till January It, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Sir Archibald Murray). On January 
28 French troops suddenly appeared before the 
fortress of Kara Burun, the " black headland " 
which from the S.E. commands the entrance to 
the inner Gulf of Salonika. Fortunately, the 
Greek officer in charge gave up the fort without 
any " incident " occurring. Greek feeling was, 
however, somewhat excited by the French 
General's summary methods, and the chief 
anti-Venizelist newspaper of Athens, Embros, 
accused the French troops of " taking Kara 
Burun at the point of the bayonet." 

These two precautionary measures concluded 
the preparations for the defence of the Salonika 
lines. For some three months or more there 
was to be little or nothing of interest in the 

way of military operations. On February 3 
advanced French frontier po?ts had u slitrht 
skirmish with Bulgarians near Lake Doiran. 
On February 10 General Sarrail took the pre- 
caution of occupying the right bank of tho 
V'ardar to a depth of six miles to guard against 
the danger of a surprise attack from the Monas- 
( ir direct ion. Along the frontier the Greek and 
Bulgarian Governments mapped out a neutral 
zone to obviate incidents such as had occurn > I 
in December at Koritsa. The zone was, how- 
ever, violated by Bulgarian raiders on March 1 
at Machukovo and on March 18 at Vetren, and 
French troops had to undertake the task, on 
March 21, of expelling the invaders. On March 
27 the French frontier guards were joined by- 
British cavalry. These had a considerate 
amount of patrolling work to do, in the course 
of which chance encounters with roving Uhlans 
provided excitement akin to that of the old 
contests of the English and Scottish Border. 
As spring came on these skirmishes became more 
frequent and were supplemented by artillery 
duels along the frontier line. On April 18 the 
enemy carried out a more ambitious raid, 
destroying ten bridges on the railway between 
Doiran and Akinjali. But until the end of 






April there had been little serious fighting 
except in the air. 

The first four months of 1916, therefore, 
were a time of preparation. Reinforcements 
British, French, and French Colonials 
kept arriving in a steady stream. By the 
end of the winter there were some 300,000 
men on the Salonika front. Preparations 
were being made for the arrival of the 
heroic survivors of the Serbian armies who 
had been reorganized and re -equipped in Corfu, 
perhaps 100.000 men. Meanwhile there was 
little to be done but train, arm, and reinforce 
the Army of Salonika and await the possi- 
bilities of a spring offensive. 

The lines stretched along the Vardar for 
some fifteen miles from its mouth. All this 
sector was held by French troops. Towards 
the mouth the country is marshy and not many 
men were needed to guard this part of the line. 
Further north the lines were held more strongly, 
and Sarrail also threw a covering force across 
the river and held an advanced front some six 
miles to the west of it. Some distance to the 
north of Topshin the line turned at right 
angles east and ran almost direct across the 
neck of the peninsula to the Gulf of Orfano, 
which was reached near Stavros. This part of 

the line was assigned to the British. The 
position was naturally strong. A large part 
of it was defended by the Daud Baba and other 
hills which cover Salonika from the north. 
Farther east the two lakes of Langhaza and 
Beshik G61 protected over 20 miles of the 
British front. The. defences of Salonika were 
a formidable problem to any attacking force. 
Farther north, too, the Allied outposts held the 
hilly country between Lakes Doiran and But- 
kovo, and as time went on, and from the defen- 
sive General Sarrail gradually passed to the 
menace of an offensive, the main position was 
shifted thither. But during the first four 
months of 1916 the most urgent, problem was 
to take every precaution for the defence of 
Salonika and gain time for equipping, organizing 
and training the varied armies under the 
French General's command. 

Training and road-making were the main 
occupations of the expeditionary force during 
these months. The roads, as almost every- 
where where the Turk misgoverned, were few, 
and, in general, deplorably bad, although 
since 1909 a few improvements had been planned 
and begun. Under the superintendence of 
British and French engineers the country 
assumed a new aspect. Before the end of 1915 





there were already 60 miles of new roads round 
Salonika. By the end of April the number was 
enormously greater. Light railways were laid 
down, and the question of transport assumed a 
Jess hopeless aspect. 

For the soldiers it was a cheerless time. 
The country in which they were camped was 
swampy and sparsely inhabited. In the neigh- 
bourhood of the lakes and rivers it was malarial 
and la,ter on fever was extremely prevalent. 

Turkish name " Sari G61 " " Yellow Lake" 
describes) and fringes of reeds ; the bare, 
rocky hills of the Krusha and Beshik ranges, 
almost treeless and waterless, broken only 
by stretches of arid plateau, on which Vlach 
and Turkish nomads seek in summer some 
scanty pasturage for their sheep and goats ; 
the high mountains to west and north, snow- 
covered in winter and in spring the source of 
mountain torrents which feed the rivers before 


[Official photograph. 

The climate, with its violent changes during 
daytime and night, was a treacherous one. 
Up in the Macedonian hills the winter was 
intensely cold with heavy snowfalls. Down 
in the plains the temperature ranged from an 
average of 81 deg. Fahr. in midsummer to a 
minimum of 14 deg. in winter. To the "Mis- 
tral " of Southern France correspond the 
" Vardar winds," which are particularly un- 
pleasant during the winter months and pierc- 
ingly cold. They sometimes last four or five days 
and make life round Salonika exceedingly un- 
attractive. The extremes of temperature were 
found very trying by the British troops. Housed 
in brown canvas tents it was difficult for them to 
keep warm in this cheerless, damp cold. Yet, 
on the whole, the winter was a better time than 
summer, which brought the flies and mosquitoes 
and let loose malaria on the unacclimatised 

The British troops put up with these hard- 
ships with characteristic stoicism. There was 
at least much of interest to be found in the 
strange sights of this country. The scenery 
was very different from that of their native 
lands. The stony, dusty plains dotted with 
clumps of olives ; the desolate, brackish lakes 
with their muddy waters (as the common 

the May sun turns them into dry watercourses ; 
all this was in strange contrast with fertile 
Yorkshire or Perthshire or Wicklow. Even 
the most insular of English countryfolk could 
not, as their letters showed, but be stimulated 
by the novelty of their surroundings. The 
sea bluer than it can ever be anywhere but in 
the ^Egean ; the blazing sun lighting up the 
monotonous white ot the village houses ; the 
clear atmosphere in which capes, mountains, 
and the cupolas of churches display the lines 
of their form with an insistence impossible in 
Northern Europe all these were some com- 
pensation for absence from home, discomfort, 

and boredom. 


Salonika itself was a miniature capital of 
east and west. Its 40.000 or so Turks, with 
white turbans and red fezzes, reminded the 
European that for nearly five centuries Salonika 
had been held by a iNlahomedan Power in the 
face of the whole of Christendom. A nearly 
equal number of Greeks represented at once 
the oldest and newest stratum of inhabitants. 
In parts of the town (especially round the old 
Hippodrome) there were Greek families des- 
cended from those who had refused to abandon 
their city even after the fatal capture of 1430. 
On the other hand there were new Greek officials, 




merchants, and, of course, soldiers who had 
come in with the liberating army in 1913. 
A smaller number of Slavs, " Macedonians " 
mainly or Bulgars, bore witness to Bulgaria's 
ambitious aims on " Solun," for centuries the 
goal of the Bulgarian armies. Like every 
yEgean town, Salonika contained a " Euro- 
pean " colony Italian, French, Spanish, or 
vaguely " Levantine." But, above all, there 
were the Jews perhaps 70,000 of them 
descendants of the Sephardim whom Cas- 
tilian intolerance had driven from Spain. 
(Of these some 10,000 were Jewish renegades 
" dunme," as the Turks call proselytes to 
Islam, distinct from both Turk and Jew. 
Born politicians, they had much to do with the 
Young Turk revolution, and Djavid Bey was 
one of their number.) Under the old lax 
Turkish regime the Jews had prospered exceed- 
ingly, and most of the trade of Salonika was 
in their hands. Their Spanish dialect was the 
current language of the town. The newspapers 
\vciv largely owned by them. Distrustful of 
the Creeks, they welcomed the Anglo-French 
troops as profitable i,d customers. 

Aim, -.mi-lit-- were nf a somewhat crude order. 
A- everywhere there was the cinema." The 
Mihjeets of the liliii-dnmms were of the lurid 
and erotic order, which, in the Levant, is 
dignified with the name " I'arisinn.' 1 But ;>t 
i hey provided some diversion from the 
mouotoiiv of existence. The proprietors of 
the.-e picture-theatres made heroic efforts to 
cater ior the linguistic peculiarities of their 

[Official photograph. 


new clients. Explanations were usually in 
Greek and Spanish (in Hebrew script). French 
could be added without much labour. English 
was a greater difficulty. The Official Pros 
Correspondent, Mr. Ward Price, gives an 
example of the " English " title of one of these 
film-dramas. It ran : 

Powerful ninny drama, in three long reels. 

far nf Eyes Near of the Hearth 

(i.e.. Loin des yeux, pre.s du co?ur). 

A whonderfull Drama, in 3 parts. 

adapted from I'. Marl's roman. 

Truly the British Tommy was seeing " life." 
For the officers the chief attraction was 
" Floca's." This small cafe, indistinguishable 
from any other cafe in Greece or the Greek 
Levant, truly had " greatness thrust upon it." 
French and British, Serbian and Greek officers 
met there in the big square down by the sea 
day after day to "five o'clocker." It was 
the refuge for the bored and the rendezvous 
for the talkative. High strategy and high 
politics soon became the small talk of " Floca's." 
A daily paper The Balkan A'cw's kept the 
K\] editionary Force informed about current 
events and added another to the many lan- 
guages ^ (Creek. French, Spanish, Turkish, 
Bulgarian) in which Salonika journalism had 
found expression. 

The self-education of the troops was not 
altogether neglected. Many an ex-Public 
Schoolboy tried to furbish up his moribund 
knowledge of Greek and attune it to its native 
pronunciation. Street-signs and newspaper 



headlines awoke forgotten memories of Xeno- 
phon and Aristophanes. The more thorough 
characters indulged in grammars and diction- 
aries, and an occasional enthusiast held little 
classes in Greek, Bulgarian, or Turkish. 

The historical remains of the town supplied 
unique material for study. Salonika is the 
eastern, as Ravenna the western, birthplace of 
true Byzantine art. The fine old basilica, 
which the Turk dechristened the " Old Mosque " 
(Eski Jaini), dates from the first quarter of the 
fifth century A.D. The splendid nave of the 
Church of St. Demetrius is perhaps a genera- 
tion younger. Above all remains the Cathedral 
of Ayia Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, which dates 
from the reign of the Emperor Anastasius 
(491-518). Signor Rivoira * finds in it the 
completion of the evolution of Byzantine art. 
Its namesake at Constantinople, built by 
Justinian's architect Anthemios forty years 
later, is but a grander and richer development 
of the same theme. St. Demetrius and Ayia 
Sophia are at once Salonika's gift to art and 
witness to its Imperial past. 

Then, too, there was archaeology. The 

* In his great work Le Origin* dell' Architettura 
Lombardn, from which these dates are taken. 

i.~ u . ,a c-j.'Hr;: l''S W 315 

t ii ". . . '.. ' 

i II IB 13 1 


great " White Tower " which the Venetians 
built here as in Crete, in Cyprus, in Corfu 
to protect their distant outposts from the 
Greeks, Slavs, and, above all, the Turks, was 
partially occupied as an archaeological museum. 
The director was a R.N.V.R. Lieutenant, 
better known as a distinguished London Pro- 
fessor. Under his skilled supervision " finds " 
were made and classified. Trench digging and 
road -making turned up more than one interest- 
ing relic of the past " Geometric " pots, 
personal ornaments of Classical times, Greek 
and Roman coins. 

Military operations on a grand scale had been 
held up first by lack of adequate troops, secondly 
by the season. But there was other sort of 

**' P^J .**' J*. 



food for the communiques. The Allied Powers 
did not fail to remind both their enemies and 
friends that the full command of the seas was 
theirs. The pursuit of German submarines 
.;- carried on relentlessly, even when it 
meant as it sometimes unavoidably did 
a clash with the amour propre of the Greek 
authorities. The question of how the sub- 
marines obtained their supplies of petrol was 
always before the minds of our Naval autho 


rities, and, though the Greek officials were in 
the main perhaps as innocent as they claimed 
to be, the Allies' vigilance was neither unwar- 
ranted nor excessive. Nor was the Bulgi\ii;iu 
coast left immune from attack. On October 
21, and again on November 16, 1915, Allied 
ships had already bombarded the port of 
Dedetigittch. A heavier bombardment of 
the place was carried out on January 1!> In 
three British, one French, and one Italian 
warship for four hours. The Kulgariim com- 
in unit/in' declared that only "four horses were 
killed" ! On the same day the mure westerly 
harbour of Porto Lagos was bombarded by 
Allied warships (according to the enemy, 
with no result). Such acts certainly had some 
effect on the ignorant Bulgarian peasant, and 

reminded him of the fact of sea-power. All 
over the /Egean the Anglo-French naval 
forces were hard at work. On January 27 
French marines occupied temporarily the 
Island of Kastellorrizon, north-east of Rhodes. 
On April 10 the British and French Ministers 
informed the Greek Government of their 
intention to create naval bases at certain 
points in the Ionian Islands and the /Tigean. 
Shortly afterwards the harbour of Arghostolion 
in Kephalliiiia was occupied. Tliis action was 
the precursor of many similar ones. 

But the most sensational acts of war wen 
in the air. On January 23 a French squadron 
of 32 airplanes raided Monastir and Ghevgeli. 
On the former some 204 bombs were dropped. 
Avoiding hospitals and Red Cross buildings, 
the position of which they had carefully noted 
unlike their German rivals they bombarded 
the Bulgarian Headquarters and military 
camps. Some 100 bombs were tlirown on 
Ghevgeli. In spite of a forty-mile cross wind 
the airmen returned safely from their journey, 
in the course of which they had to cross the 
high mountains of the Nidje Planina. The 
raid obviously made an impression on the 
enemy and for some time their airplanes steered 
clear of our lines. However, on February 1 the 
first German Zeppelin was seen over Salonika. 
Bombs were dropped in the usual promiscuous 
fashion, the casualties comprising not only 
one French and two British soldiers, but 
three Greek soldiers and four civilians (killed) 
and a score of Greek and Jewish civilians 

Careless of the antagonistic feelings they were 
rousing in Greece, the Germans on March Hi 
again despatched a Zeppelin over Salonika. 
A few bombs were dropped without effect at 
Topshiii, and the intruding monster was hunted 
away by French airmen. Eleven days later a 
German squadron of five aeroplanes raided 
Salonika. They had the satisfaction of killing 
nine Jewish, seven Greek, and two Turkish 
civilians, but had to pay for this exploit with 
the loss of at least three " Taubes." On 
April 16, 17 and 18 French airmen replied with 
raids on Strumnitza, Ghevgeli, and other 
military localities. On the night of April 20-21 a 
French airman accomplished a more ambitious 
flight. Starting from near Doiran he flew to 
Sofia, dropped two bombs with startling effect 
and returned after accomplishing the (till 
then) longest offensive flight of the war some 
350 miles. On April 24 German aeroplanes 


retaliated on Salonika, again losing an " Alba- 
tross." Twelve days later another Zeppelin 
attempted to impress and damage Salonika. 
This one met with an ill-starred end. Dazzled 
by the searchlights and hit by the guns of the 
Allied warships, it was forced to descend in the 
marshes of the Vardar. Twelve of the crew 
were taken prisoners and admitted that it 


was the same ship that raided Salonika in 
February. She purported to come from Temes- 
var, in the Banat, and bore the number 
" LZ 85." Her wrecked framework lay in the 
marshes for some time, a warning to future 
transgressors and the delight of the excited 
people and newspapers of Salonika, for whose 
edification French army mechanics pieced it 
together and set it up round the " White 

Farther west events had taken place which 
were afterwards to exercise some influence on 
the course of the Salonika expedition. The 
Italian Government had, in October, 1914, 
occupied the Island of Saseno, formerly con- 
sidered one of the Ionian Islands belonging 
to Greece. In November of the same year 
they landed Bed Cross detachments near 
Avlona (Gk. Avion). M. Venizelos' Govern- 
ment had occupied Northern Epirus (or 
" Southern Albania "), the status of which had 
been a matter of livel/discussion at the London 
Conference in 1913. The Italians declared 
their occupation of Avlona of the same pro- 
visional character as the Greek occupation of 
Northern Epirus. The fall of Mt. Lovtchen 

on January 10, 1916, of Cettmje on January 13, 
and Shkodra (Skutari) on January 23, and the 
Austrian advance through Montenegro into 
Albania awoke the fears of the Italian Govern- 
ment for Avlona. An Italian expeditionary 
force had already been landed in Avlona, and 
early in December, 1915, it numbered between 
20,000 and 30,000 men. It was none too soon, 
for the Austrian armies, accompanied by the 
Roman Catholic Mirdite tribes of Northern 
Albania whom they had enlisted on their side, 
were soon in occupation of the country as far 
as the Shkumbi. Meanwhile the Bulgarians 
had pushed west in pursuit of the retreating 
Serbians and occupied Elbasan. Eager to 
emphasize their claim to Northern Epirus 
the population of which is largely Greek by 
speech, education, and religion the Greek 
Government of M. Skouloudis recognised the 
province as part of Greece, and on February 17 
admitted sixteen deputies from Argirokastron 
and Koritsa to the new Greek Chamber. For 


the moment the Greek and Italian Governments 
did not revive the discussion as to the future 
status of Northern Epirus, but, it was realized 
on both sides that the question was unfor- 
tunately far from settled. But meanwhile 
Italy's preoccupations were mainly for the 
safety of her own expeditionary army. The 
advanced force which had held Durazzo and 
helped to secure the Serbian retreat and em- 
barkation for Corfu fell back before the Austrian 
advance, and by the end of February had taken 
up a position on the line of the Voyusa (Viosa) 
river, grouped in semicircular fashion round 
Avlona. There was some agitation in Italy 
for a withdrawal even from Avlona, as it was 
feared that an immediate enemy advance 



might cut off mid destroy the expeditionary 
force. By the cud of February, however, it 
\\a~ decided to continue to hold this "window 
opening on the Adriatic " (as the Secolo called 
it). On March 8 General Piacentini was 
appointed to succeed General Bertotti in the 
command of the expeditionary force and a large 
measure of executive independence was allowed 


Discussing the speed indicator of his machine 

with a French Airman. 

him. Attempts were also made to conciliate 
Albanian feeling and win support from at least 
some of the Mahoniediui tribes of Central 
Albania. The only prominent Albanian leader, 
however, who threw in his lot wholeheartedly 
with the Italians was F.ssad I'usha, who, in 
February, visited Home, proceeding thence to 
Paris and London. Essad was subsequently 
to add t" the many political and military 

exploits of his career a participation in the 
Salonika expedition. 

After the capture of Durazzo (February 27) 
the Austrians pushed slowly through Albania 
to the Italian lines, but made no serious attempt 
on Avlona. They were more concerned with 
political intrigues in Montenegro and Northern 
and Central Albania. Early in March they 
appear to have again proclaimed their old 
proUgi, Piince AVilliam of AVied, '' Mbret" (Im 
perator) in Durazzo. They were sure of the 
support of the Mirdite clans of the North, 
amongst whom for years Austrian ecclesiastics 
had carried on a successful propaganda. Else- 
where' there were difficulties. The Mahomedans 
of Central Albania would have preferred a 
Turkish prince as their ruler. One of Prince 
AVied's former Ministers, Akif Pasha, actually 
set up a Provisional Government, though 
apparently with Austrian approval, in Elbasan. 
The Bulgarians shifted their centre of intrigue- 
farther south to Berat. About this time they 
seem to have been coquetting with the idea of 
persuading certain of the Albanian leaders to 
elect Prince Cyril, second son of Tsar Ferdinand, 
Mbret of Albania. On the question of Albanian 
independence Radoslavoff was careful to make 
the reservation that, thovigh Bulgaria " would 
not seek to put any obstacles in the way of the 
establishment of an independent Albanian 
Power," she " must interest herself in the future 
and in her political and strategical frontiers." 
The Bulgarian Government, however, soon 
abandoned these dreams. More definite advan- 
tages were to be expected elsewhere. An 
agreement was concluded early in April, 1916, 
between the Bulgarian and Austro-Hungarian 
Governments, and on April 19 the Bulgarians 
evacuated Elbasan and took over in return the 
districts of Prisrend and Prishtina in Serbia, 
which had hitherto been in Austro-Hungarian 
occupation, and proceeded at once ruthlessly 
to " Bulgarize " these districts. 

During the months of inactivity at Salonika 
then- was a revival of speculation as to the 
possibility of detaching Bulgaria from the 
Central Powers by the offer of liberal bribes 
of territory. Spasmodic outbursts of anti- 
( lirman feeling in Bulgaria and discontent 
among the peasants at the indefinite continu- 
ance of what they had been told would be a 
few months' war were looked on in certain 
circles of the Entente as offering an opportunity 
for an " arrangement." Those who favoured 


such a plan unfortunately failed to realize that 
the ruling circles in Sofia had far other aims 
than merely to liberate the oppressed " Bulgars" 
of Macedonia from the Serbian " yoke." What 
they aimed at was hegemony in the Balkans. 
As a Bulgarian " Socialist " paper wrote : " The 
Balkans must be controlled by a strong Power. 
Perhaps it is we who are destined to nil the 
role." The subsequent Bulgarization of occu- 
pied Serbia apart from " Macedonia " cast 

army of 100,000 men was ready to take the 
field again. The question of their transport to 
Salonika aroused considerable friction with the 
Greek Government. The Entente Powers pro- 
posed that they should be taken by sea to Itea 
or some other port on the Gulf of Corinth and 
then conveyed across country and by the 
Larissa railway up to the Salonika front. The 
Skouloudis Government, however, discovered 
all sorts of objections to this course. It would, 


a lurid light on Bulgarian " principles of 
nationality." In fact, the Central Powers 
promised Bulgaria the first place in the Balkans, 
side by side with a diminished Serbia, a cowed 
Rumania and a discredited Greece. What was 
the use in such circumstances of Entente 
diplomatists dallying with the idea of catching 
Bulgaria with the lesser bait of Serbian Mace- 
donia or Greek Kavala ? 

It was, of course, impossible seriously to make 
any overtures to Bulgaria without the approval 
and knowledge of our Serbian Allies. Banished 
from their country by the perfidious attack of 
their neighbours, they looked for restitution to 
the sword. During the winter the Serbian 
armies had been reorganized and re-equipped 
in Corfu, and by the beginning of spring an 

they said, dislocate normal traffic. The Serbs 
might be the cause of infectious diseases 
spreading in the country possibly " Venize- 
litis " as well as typhus was- feared. And, 
above all, it would involve a breach of neutrality 
and embroil Greece with the Central Powers 
All these real or pretended objections were 
brilliantly answered by M. Venizelos in his new 
weekly paper, the Kirif (April 30). He showed 
that none of the dangers feared \\ould, in fact, 
result. The Entente Ministers in Athens also 
pressed their point of view very strongly on the 
Skouloudis Government, but the latter main- 
tained their opposition. While the matter 
dragged on the Serbian troops were already 
being transported by sea through the Corinth 
Canal. By May 11 some 70,000 were on the 




way and before the end of the month practically 
the whole Serbian army had been transferred 
to the Macedonian front. 

Their arrival implied the initiation of a 
definite offensive at an early date. These 
Serbian soldiers had not merely come to defend 
Salonika, but to begin at once the heroic and 
difficult task of recovering their native land. 
Before long they were in position on the left flank 
of Sarrail's army in the Fiorina sector. The Bul- 
gars were threatened with a vigorous offensive. 

In these circumstances the enemy decided 
to be the first to strike. The right bank of the 
Struma and the Greek frontier were guarded 
by French troops, but except for the destruction 
of the railway bridge at Demirhissar in January 
no steps had been taken to guard the approach'-- 
farther East. Lack of adequate numbers for 
holding so long a front may be the explanation. 
General Sarrail may have considered it im- 
probable or immaterial that the Bulgarians 
would attack down the Struma valley. Tin- 
valley was commanded by Fort Kupel, on the 
retention and strengthening of which M. 
Veni/.elos had a.K\a\> laid great store, (ieni-nil 
Sarrail may have trusted the <!reek garrison 
to hold this safely. Behind the garri-on 
it -elt' there %\a- the !iulk of two ( ip-eU Armv 
Corps in Macedonia at Seres and Kavala. 
After the Creek Government s attitude to the 
question of a Bulgarian invasion in December 
it may have appeared probable that they 
would be equally opposed to such an invasion 

in May. Subsequent revelations showed, 
however, that so long ago as March the Greek 
Minister of War (General Yannakitsas) had 
issued instructions to the officers commanding 
fortresses in Macedonia not to offer any resist - 
ance to the invader. Consequently when, on 
May 26, a Bulgarian force suddenly advanced 
on Rupel the Commandant surrendered this 
strongest of Greek fortresses after a merely 
nominal resistance. The key of the Struma 
valley was in Bulgaria's hands. Any idea of 
an offensive from East Macedonia was out of 
the question. It is, however, improbable that 
much could ever have been accomplished by an 
attempted invasion of Bulgaria up the Struma. 
Though the Greeks successfully achieved it in 
July, 1913, the Bulgarians had then already 
been defeated by the Serbians on the Bregal- 
nitsa and were in danger of being outflanked. 
In the present case it was the invaders, not the 
invaded, whose flank would have been turned. 
The capture of Fort Rupel was none the l<-s.- 
a serious inconvenience to General Sarrail. It 
meant that should he begin an offensive else 
where he would have to hold his Struma lint 
far miore strongly than if the Greek armies 
could be relied on to hold East Macedonia. 
The surrender of Rupel showed that no such 
reliance could be placed on the Greek Govern- 
ment. Politically it meant that relations 
between the Entente Powers and the Skou- 
loudis Ministry had become impossible. The 
Powers almost at once instituted a blockade of 


Greek ports. On June 21 this was followed by 
a Note demanding the replacement of the 
Skouloudis Government by a " service Govern- 
ment without political colour " pledged to 
guarantee the maintenance of the " benevolent 
neutrality " which Greece had promised to 
observe towards the Entente Powers. The 
complete demobilisation and reduction to a 
peace footing of the Greek Army, the dissolution 
of the Chamber and fresh elections, and the 
dismissal of certain objectionable police officials 
were also demanded. The Note was understood 
to be supported by a naval demonstration. 
M. Skouloudis at once resigned and M. Za'imis 
formed a " service Ministry." 

Meanwhile in Salonika General Sarrail had 
on June 3, 1916, declared a state of siege in the 
districts of Macedonia occupied by the Allied 
armies. He had now a considerable army 
French, British, and Serbian under his com- 
mand and could afford to occupy a wider front 
and prepare for an offensive in the summer. 
It was arranged that Lieutenant-General G. F. 
Milne (who on May 9 succeeded Sir Bryan 
Mahon in the command of the British Salonika 
Army) should become responsible for that 
portion of the Allied front which covered 
Salonika from the east and north-east. On 

Captured by the Serbians, July 24, 1916. 

June 8 the British troops began to occupy 
advanced positions along the right bank of the 
Struma from Lake Butkovo to the north end of 
Lake Tachinos. By the end of July, on the 
demobilization of the Greek Army, this occupa- 
tion had been extended to Chai Agiz ("The 
Kiver Mouth"), where the Struma flows m f o 
the Gulf of Orfano. Later on between July 20 

and August 2 General Milne took over the- 
line south and west of Lake Doiran in prepara- 
tion for a general offensive. 

During this time of preparation the French 
troops had also been active. They occupied 
the centre of the Allied position from near Lak& 
Doiran to a point west of the Vardar, where 
they linked up with the newly reconstituted 
Serbian army. Their sector, if shorter than the- 
British or Serbian, was probably the most 
important of all, for it contained the Vardar 

C.B., D.S.O., 

Appointed Commander of the British Army at 
Salonika, May, 1916. 

valley, the direct lino by which Salonika might 
be attacked. Facing them was a composite 
army under General von Winckler. It was not 
clear how many Austrians and Germans had 
been left to him, since many had been with- 
drawn to reinforce the western and Galician. 
fronts. The British and Serbians were faced 
by purely Bulgarian armies under the command 
of General Todoroff. 

During June and July there was some spas- 
modic fighting on the frontier. On June 23 and 
24 the Bulgarians attempted to take Poroj after 
a bombardment, but were driven off without 
difficulty. The enemy, however, claimed to- 
have forced the French to withdraw their lines 
at Gorni Pordi (close to the frontier). There 
was a good deal of skirmishing round Ljumnica* 


Till'. 'I'lMI'.S 


Hilt, above all. French airmen \\erc very busy. 
Tii-- Bulgan complained Hi " almoM iiiiily " 
raid- oser tin- frontier. 

Fnrt hrr \\e-t tli.- Serbians were not slow in 
i>ei:inii'im still more serious operations. Tho 


In command of French Forces on the 

Salonika Front. 

Bulgarians had occupied the lower slopes of the 
Nidje Planina, six miles or so to the south-east 
of the Grseco-Serbian frontier. On July 24 a 
Serbian division attacked them and drove them 
back. Mt. Kovil (north-east of Bahovo and 
east of Kukuruz or " Maize " Hall) was seized, 
and. the Bulgars retired after suffering heavy 
casualties. Some days after this success of his 
army the Prince Regent Alexander landed at 
Salonika and hastened to acquaint himself with 
the conditions under which his countrvmen 
were beginning the reconquest of their father- 
land. The Serbians were under. the command 
of General Bojovich, but at this time an 
arrangement was made by which all the Allied 
armies were put under the general control of 
Sarrail, General Cordonnier (who had distin- 
guished himself recently at Verdun) assuming 
command of the French contingent. 

The time was approaching for the beginning 
of a general offensive. Politically even more 
than militarily it was urgently required. 
Fur months past Rumania had demanded an 
offensive from Salonika as an indispensable 
preliminary to her intervention. Till now 
Sun-nil's small numbers had made -this out of 
the question. But the arrival of the Serbian 
army and the reinforcements sent out to the 
French und I'.ritish contingents had swelled his 

expeditionary forces to a considerable si/.e. On 
.Inly ''<*) Russian troops arrived to join the army 
that was to liberate Serbia. Salonika sa\v the 
unprecedented siL'ht of a Russian army which 
had voyam'd round half Kurope disembarking 
at its gates. The line physique and soldierly 
hearing of these seasoned troops was not without 
its effect on the cosmopolitan city. Less 
startling, though not less important, was the 
appearance on August 11 of a considerable 
Italian force under the command of General 
Count Alfonso 1'etitti di Roreto. 

The offensive wliich was to be the overture to 
Rumania's intervention opened on August 10. 
French < artillery began a heavy bombardment 
of the town of Doiran. The Bulgars were 
forced to abandon Hill 227 to the south of the 
town and the French hastened. to occupy it and 
the railway station of Doiran. The German 
communiques of August 11 and 12 spoke scorn- 
fully of the " enemy's feeble feints " being 
" repulsed by our fire," but an appreciable gain 
had been made. The next few days were taken 
up with artillery duels, heavy howitzers playing 
their part on both sides. On August 15 the 
French made a further move. After bom- 
bardment they seized " Tortoise Hill," close to 
the village of Doldjeli, which lies a mile and a 
half south-west of Doiran. Then a* sudden 
change came over the position. 


In command of Italian Forces on 

the Salonika front. 

The Bulgarians had grown uneasy about 
the persistence of the Salonika expedition. 
Their first opportunity of December, 1915, 
having been missed they had hoped that the 



Allies would of their own accord relinquish 
their point of vantage. The arrival of the 
Serbians, and subsequently of the Italian and 
Russian contingents, dispelled this fond illusion. 
From a small force, the easy prey of the invader, 
Sarrail's command had been transformed into 
a considerable army. During June and July 
all the attention of the Central Powers had 
been occupied by the great Russian offensive 
in Eastern Galicia and by the Battle of the 
Soinme. By August the situation at least in 

Meanwhile, on the eastern frontier, the Bul- 
garians crossed the Nestos (or Mesta Su) in the 
" Kaza " of Sari Shaban, and sent on patrols 
ahead to reconnoitre the road to Kavala. 
Further west, on the central sector of the 
Vardar valley, a simultaneous advance was 
made by General von Winckler. His troops 
failed, however, to take the village of Doldjeli, 
in spite of determined attacks. Both there and 
on the Struma British troops held up the Bul- 
garian advance. On August 19 General Milne 


the East was somewhat better in hand, and 
the Salonika front offered an obvious oppor- 
tunity for a cheap but impressive advance. 
Moreover, there was Rumania to be impressed 
and San-ail's demonstration to be forestalled. 

On August 17 the enemy armies invaded 
Greece in three main groups. ,On the eastern 
sector they advanced south from Demir- 
hissar, the Greek troops withdrawing before 
them. The Greek forts of Lise and Starshiste 
were surrendered on demand, no resistance 
being offered. On August 19 the enemy 
communiques announced that the Vrundi 
Balkan (or Sharliya Planina) had been crossed. 
The Bulgarian armies were advancing on Seres. 

sent out a mounted brigade with one battery 
which carried out " a strong reconnaissance." 
They found the enemy in some force on the 
Barakli-Prosenik line. After engaging him 
they withdrew to the right bank of the Struma. 
On August 21 the Anghista bridge on the 
Seres-Drama line was demolished by British 
yeomanry, engineers and cyclists in the face 
of the enemy's opposition, but after this opera- 
tion no further obstacle was put in the way of 
the Bulgarian invasion of Eastern Macedonia" 
The British forces withdrew to the Struma- 
Lake Tachinos line, and left to the Greek 
annies garrisoning the country the task of 
dealing with: the invader. 




Kavala was the headquarters of the 4th 
Greek Army Corps. At Seres the 6th Division 
was at the time stationed under General Bairas, 
in whose temporary absence Colonel Khristod- 
houlou was in command. The advanced fort 
of Phea Petra was the first place to offer 
resistance to the Bulgarian armies on the 
road between Demirhissar and Krushevo. The 
commander, Major Kondhilis, refused to sur- 
render the fort to his country's enemies, and 
lost his life in the fruitless attempt to defend it. 
The example was not lost on the garrison of 
Seres. Colonel Kristodhoulou and the men 
of the 6th Division put up a stout fight, in 
which they claimed to have inflicted heavy 
casualties on the enemy, themselves losing 2 
officers and 100 men. The Athens Govern- 
ment's only recognition of this gallant action 
was to relieve the too patriotic colonel of his 
command, and issue strict injunctions against 
any further armed resistance to the invader. 
Kristodhoulou fortunately succeeded in 
evading the Bulgarian armies, and issued an 
appeal for volunteers to defend Macedonia. 
Hi- geste made him the idol of the hour in 
Salonika and Venizelist Greece. A considerable 
number of volunteers enrolled themselves, 
and the Veni/.elist pnpi-r Nea Ellas called 
Kristodhoulou " a new Leonidas." 

Not nil Greek oflieers were equally heroic. 
Tin- Bulgarian armies in their advance through 
KiiMern Macedonia had at first been anxious 
to conciliate the feeling of the Greek population. 
A considerable number of Greeks (variously 
estimated nt live and ten thousand), however. 
fled before the invader. They remembered 

the atrocities committed by the Bulgarian- 
troops when they retreated before the Greek 
armies in July, 1913. On that occasion they 
massacred a large part of the Greek population 
of Seres and wiped out the entire village of 
Dokzat, calling forth from King Constantino 
an appeal to the European Powers against 
" these fiends in human form." This time 
the Bulgars were wise. They refrained from 
occupying Drama and Kavala till their plans 
were -ripe. On August 26, however, they 
seized the forts round Kavala, but found 
themselves under the heavy bombardment of 
the British fleet. For some time they did 
nothing further, and on September 6 Colonel 
Khristodhoulou made his way into the town 
with two of the regiments he had commanded 
at Seres. They did not find themselves in 
congenial company. The commander of the 
IVth Anny Corps, Colonel Khatzopoulos, was 
one of those Greeks to whom even the Bulgar 
;iiid the German were less distasteful than 
Venizelos. He bore in mind the instruction 
of the Athens Government that there was to- 
be no fighting with the invading army. On 
September 12, therefore, ho capitulated with 
the forces some 8,000 men -under his com- 
mand. The Bulgarian troops entered and 
occupied the coveted seaport which the arms 
of Kintr Constaiitine's soldiers and the diplo- 
macy of M. Venizelos had redeemed for Greece 
three and a half years before. Colonel Khris- 
todhoulou, indeed, and some 1,500 soldiers, as 
well as many of the civilian inhabitants, suc- 
eeeded in making their escape, through the help 
of British and French warships, to Thasos and. 



Salonika. The rest were disarmed and interned 
in " honourable " captivity at Seres, whence 
they were soon after removed to Germany to 
enjoy the hospitality of the Imperial Govern- 
ment in the Silesian town of Gorlitz. According 
to German accounts, they were there enter- 
tained with every mark of respect, and encour- 
aged to while away the hours of boredom and 
starvation diet with the editing of a local Greek 
newspaper (The Gorliiz News) and the organi- 
zation of concerts and theatrical performances. 
To patriotic Greeks these ignominious actions 
of their politicians and soldiers had been more 
than could be endured. To assuage this 
feeling and conciliate the indignant Entente 
Powers the Chief of the General Staff, Dous- 
manis, was given 4.5 days' leave and replaced 
by General Moskhopoulos, hitherto in command 
of the lllrd (Salonika) Army Corps. Dous- 
maiiis' assistant, Colonel Metaxas, was also 
relieved of his functions. Mass meetings to 
voice the indignation of the people were held 
in Salonika and in Athens, where M. Venizelos 
himself addressed the demonstrators. At a 
second demonstration on August 27 the great 
statesman made a powerful speech in which he 
adjured his King to put himself at the head of 
the nation and defend Greece's honour and 
territory. If King Constantino an:l M. 7ai'mis 

would even now stand forth as champions of the 
national cause, M. Venizelos promised his 
wholehearted support. Hut " if, contrary to 
all our hopes, our cry is disregarded, we shall 
then see what we can do in order to prevent 
the ruin into which we are being drawn. 
We cannot look on fatalistically, while the 
catastrophe approaches, without counteracting 
it." Unfortunately the appeal was disregarded. 
The King refused to receive the demonstrators' 
memorial, and, backed by anti-Venizelist 
partisans anil the " Reservists' Leagues " 
formed by the military clique on which he relied, 
he continued his " neutral " policy. The first 
armed protest came fromSalonika. OnAugust 30 
Lieutenant Tsakonas, at the head of a body of 
Cretan gendarmerie, marched to the barracks 
where three regiments of the llth Division were 
quartered and called on them to join the move- 
ment for the defence of Greek soil against the 
Bulgarians. The majority agreed, and Colonel 
P. Zimvrakakis put himself at the head of the 
revolution. In the famous Church 'of St. 
Demetrius the insurgents pledged themselves 
to save Greece from the hereditary foe. A 
Committee of National Defence was elected, 
with Colonel Zimvrakakis at its head, and an 
appeal was issued for volunteers. Confronted 
with overwhelming difficulties, the Greek Pre- 

W/frial photograph. 

At the head of his men leaving Salonika for the front. 


niior, M. Xai'iiis. resigned on September 12, and 
after sonic days was succeeded by a somewhat 
colourless auti-\ Yni/.elist . M. Kalogeropoulos. 
Tlir ili'W Ministry made some dubious e-.-ays to 
reu lin th>- confidence of the Entente Powers, 
hut met with no success. Th^ die was already 
Bast. On September '24 revolution brok" out 
at Candia, and in some days the whole of Crete 
had disowned the Athens Government and 
thrown in its lot with the National Movement 
under the aegis of its greatest son. On Sep- 
tember 25 M. Venizelos himself, deciding that 
the moment for action had come, left Athens 
accompanied by Admiral Koundouriotis and 
other prominent public men. In Crete they 
proclaimed a Provisional Government, and from 
there passed to Chios, Mytilene, and other 
^Egean islands which hastened to espouse their 
cause. Finally they took up their headquarters 
at Salonika, and on October 18 a " Cabinet of 
National Defence " was formed by M. Pvepoulis, 
responsible to the Triumvirate M. Venizelos, 
Admiral Koundouriotis, and General Danglis 
which hail taken on itself the task of cooperat- 
ing with the Allies for the expulsion of the 
Bulgarians from Greek soil. Henceforth there 
were two Governments in Greece that of Pro- 
fessor Lambros (who on October 8 succeeded 
M. Kalogeropoulos) at Athens, and that of the 
Triumvirate at Salonika. The former, main- 

taining its rule over Central Greece, the 
Pelopoimese and the Ionian Islands, remained in 
theory strictly neutral. The latter, recognized 
de facto in Macedonia, most of the jEiH-.m 
islands and Crete by the Entente Powers, 
relied on real popular support. It frankly 
allied itself with the Entente and cooperated 
in military preparations against Bulgaria, on 
whom it declared war. 

The chief interest of the autumn campaign 
centres round the operations in Western 
Macedonia, but before turning to them this 
account of the course of events on tho eastern 
part of the Salonika front may be concluded. 
This sector had been handed over to tho British 
forces. On September 10 the Struma, which 
had served as a line of defence, was crossed by 
General Milne's troops both south and north 
of Lake Tachinos. Between the Lake and 
the Gulf of Orfano they occupied the " New 
Village " (Neokhori or Yeni Kioi). To the 
north they crossed at various points between 
Lake Butkovo and Lake Tachinos. Some small 
villages were occupied, and the Northumberland 
Fusiliers drove the Bulgarians out of Nevoljen, 
inflicting severe losses on the enemy The 
Britisli troops subsequently withdrew as pre- 
arranged. Five days later the offensive was 
renewed. British forces seized the villages of 
Kato (or Lower) Ghoudheli, Jami Mah, Ago 





Mah and Komarian, and burnt them to the 
ground. On September 23, in spite of a sudden 
rise of three feot in the river, which hampered 
bridging operations, a crossing was again 
effected and the villages and trenches occupied 
by the enemy were raided. Valuable recon- 
naissance work was effected. 

As the big Allied advance on Monastir pro- 
ceeded it was found necessary to increase our 
" activities on the Struma front. Taking full 
advantage of the superiority in artillery fire 
which the high ground on the right bank 
allowed, General Milne on the night of Septem- 
ber 29-30 threw considerable forces across the 
river, over which the Royal Engineers had suc- 
ceeded in constructing bridges. At dawn the 
Gloucesters and Cameron Highlanders ad- 
vanced, and by 8 a.m. had won the village of 
Karaja Kioi Bala. On their left the other two 
battalions of the brigade Royal Scots and 
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders pushed 
on in spite of " heavy and accurate " enemy 
artillery fire, and by 5.30 had occupied Karaja 
Kioi Zir. The Bulgarians' repeated attempts 
to regain these two villages on the nights of 
September 30 and October 1 failed, and by 
October 2 the position had been consolidated. 
Next day an infantry brigade composed of the 
Munsters and Dublins attacked and seized Yeni 
Kioi on the main road to Seres. Here they 
were exposed to fierce bombardments and 
counter-attacks, in which six or seven enemy 
battalions participated. Tn spite of their 
efforts, however, the Bulgarians failed to 
recover Yeni Kioi and fresh reinforcements 
secured the village for the British. On Novem- 
ber 5 Nevoljen (to the west) was again occupied, 
and bv November 8 the British forces were in 

possession of the line Ago Mah-Omondhos- 
Elishan-Ormanlii, the cavalry holding an 
advanced line Kispeki-Kalendhra. Not only 
had the enemy been pushed back, but he had 
lost at least 1,500 men lulled, 375 prisoners and 
3 machine-guns. In the opinion of General 
Milne the success of these operations " was due 
to the skill and decision with which they were 
conducted by Lieutenant-General C. J. Briggs, 
C.B., and to the excellent cooperation of all 
arms." Not less credit was due to the work 
of the Royal Flying Corps, the Royal Engineers 
and the Army Ordnance Corps, in whose hands 
lay the problems of transport. On this as on 
other fronts both motor ambulance drivers and 
stretcher-bearers rendered splendid service in 
rescuing and conveying the wounded to the 
dressing stations and hospitals many of the 
latter voluntarily organized units of the British 
Red Cross and Order of St. John. The Royal 
Army Medical Corps, under Surgeon-General 
H. R. Whitehead, C.B., deserved not less praise 
for the way in which they had grappled with 
malaria, dysentery and other diseases from 
which the troops had to suffer much in tho 
marshy and unhealthy Struma valley. 

Operations on the Doiran-Vardar River 
sector were also begun with a view to holding 
up the enemy. His forces here amounted to 
some 30,000 men practically the whole of the 
Bulgarian 9th Division and at least two-thirds 
of the German 101st Division. Between 
September 11 and 13 General Milne began a 
heavy bombardment of the German salient 
north of Machukovo, known as " The Machine 
Guns' Knob." On the night of September 
13-14 the King's Liverpool Regiment and 
Lancashire Fusiliers stormed and occupied 


Baldenci -.ff fCHUME 
\ Velyese/o 


... , . ^v . 1 

' - Dobrgxeni :\,, -y.0; ' .<. ."y^i 

x. "v n ^^^si^Vvr^..^ 1 ^.:-'' 





the enemy's position here, lulled over 200 
(icnnans and captured 71. The work was, 
however, exposed to the enemy's artillery fire, 
and in face of his attacks in superior force it was 
found necessary to retire after a successful 
demonstration. The rest of the fighting on 
this sector consisted chiefly of raids on the 
enemy's trenches, but throughout the next 
two months these operations had great value 
in detaining considerable forces of the enemy 
which might otherwise have been available 
for the defence of Monastir. 

It was on the left of the Allies' line that 
'vnts of decisive importance took place. 
Here in their spectacular invasion of August 
17 and 18 the Bulgarians had occupied Fiorina 
and forced the Serbians to fall back on Ostrovo. 
The Bulgarians pushed on along the main road 
and by-paths converging on Kozani. As usual 
they massacred and plundered the unfortunate 

inhabitants of villages like Negovani and Aitos, 
in the latter of which the mayor and another 
official were murdered. After penetrating the 
Kirli Derbend (" Dirty Pass ") the enemy 
occupied Sorovichevo and Sotir, but was there 
attacked by the Serbians and had to retire 
to Ekshisu. It was expected that he would 
again attempt a spectacular advance on Kozani 
or attack Vodena and threaten Veria in the 
hope of cutting Sarrail's land connexions with 
Greece and impressing King Constantine's 
subjects. The Serbians, however, backed by 
French and Russian contingents, were not long 
in retaliating. The invader was gradually 
driven back. By September 15 the Allied 
armies were closing on Fiorina, having taken 
many prisoners and guns. The Serbians 
alone captured 32 of the latter, including several 
heavy pieces as well as stores and munitions, 
and claimed to have inflicted, with few 



casualties of their own, severe losses on the 

A general advance was in progress. On the 
left the French and Russian contingents 
crossed the Mala Reka ("Little River") 
Ridge, approaching Fiorina from the south. 
From the east the Serbians advanced from 
Ostrovo, driving the enemy before them. By 
September 16 they had taken the village of 
Gornichevo (on the Banitsa-Ostrovo road) 
and carried the greater part of the Malka 
Nidje ridge at the point of the bayonet. 
Their cavalry had driven the Bulgarians head- 
long from Ekshisu and cleared the whole 
country round Lake Petrsko. On September 
17 there was a fierce battle between the advanc- 
ing French and Russians and the retreating 
Bulgarians on the Florina-Rosna line. The 
struggle lasted all day, but in spite of a desperate 
resistance the Bulgars were beaten and had 
to fall back. On September 18, at 10 a.m., the 
French entered Fiorina. T^ie great Bulgarian 
invasion of Greece had come to grief after a 

But from Fiorina alone it was impossible 
to advance on Monastir, which now became the 
objective of the Allied armies. Monastir 

lies in the extreme south of the Pelagonian 
plain. From Fiorina, indeed, the way is open. 
But Monastir is in turn commanded by the 
outlying mountains of the Albanian tangle 
on the west and on the east it is protected by 
the loop of theTcherna (" Black ") River, within 
the bend of which stands the high Selechka 
Ridge. To the east of the Tch?rna is the f ormid - 
able mountain barrier of the Starkov Grob and 
Nidje Planina, culminating in the mountain 
of Kaymakchalan, with which all aspirants 
to Monastir must first grapple. 

The fighting to the west of Lake Ostrovo 
in the last week of August had resulted in the 
failure of the Bulgarians in spite of tremendous 
efforts, led by the 1st Brigade of the 8th 
Division under Colonel Serafimoff, to envelop 
and crush the Serbian left wing. General 
Bojovich's troops had stood firm. On Septem- 
ber 1 they had won the Malka Nidje ridge 
and thence they, with the French and Russians 
on the left, had advanced and recovered 
Fiorina. On the Serbian right the last week of 
August also saw the initiation of a vigorous 
offensive. The order to advance all along the 
line appealed to the home-sick Serbian troops. 
Through the Moglenitsa valley they advanced 


[Official photograph. 



The eastern slopes stormed by the Serbians. 

on the mountain barrier, held by the enemy, 
which separated them from their native 
land. The Bulgarians held strong positions 
along the crest of the Starkov Orob and 
Nidje Planina and occupied the hills com- 
manding the Moglenitsa valley from the 

Tin- Serbians' first attack was mi Mount 
Kovil. Clambering up its steep sides they 
attacked their enemies u it h bombs and bayonet. 
It was a- fierce struggle in which little counted 
e\ee|it the individual -oldier's strength and 
connive. K<>r three days the issue' wiis in 
doubt, but finally the victory fell to the Ser- 
bians, who uon the hills of Kovil and Kukuruz 
("Maize Hill") and thereby secured nil the 
positions dominating the M"L'lenitsa valley. 
It was the first real test of the worth of the 
re-formed Serbian anny, and the result was a 
splendid one. 

Everything now depended on the possession 

ot .Mount Kaymakchalan, the highest point 
(8,284 feet) of the whole range. The Bul- 
garians as documents captured from them 
proved had orders to defend this height to 
the last man. For the Serbians it was a 
unique opportunity of once more entering their 
native land. After fierce fighting the troop-. 
of the Drina Division won the summit of the 
peak 011 September 18 the day the French 
entered Fiorina and planted the national 
flag once more on Serbian soil. The victory 
cost them heavily, for the Bulgarians again 
and again returned to the attack. They held 
on obstinately to their positions on the northern 
slopes of the mountain and reinforced their 
troops from other fronts. On September 2ft 
they attempted a desperate counter-attack 
with men drawn from four divisions. They 
gained a local success, but were unable to main- 
tain it, and on September 30 the Serbians 
occupied the whole mountain block and the 
Bulgars hastily withdrew, abandoning four 
field guns, four mountain guns and much 
material of other kinds. There is docu- 
mentary proof that the Bulgarian losses 
were frightfully heavy. Their llth Regi- 
ment, for instance, had 73 officers and 3,000 
men out of action. The victors, too, had heavy 
losses, but they could console themselves with 
the results of their success. On October 3 
the Bulgarians evacuated the whole Starkov 
Grob and withdrew their whole line. Serbia 
was once more open and the Serbian flag was 
hoisted in the seven villages which the victors 

The first 'Serbian village recovered by the 
Serbian armies \MIS .Tivonya (near the River 
Brod). Thus the moment was described by a 
Serbian officer : 

At the entrance we met the fir.-t Serbian rhi/.rn, a 
citizen of the Kingdom of Serbia, ami this first one, 
_h poor, robbed ami -tripped of everything by the 
.lie TIIV, would nut come to meet his brothers empty- 
handed, and since he po-e-ert -nothing else, he set 
before us two pitcher- of wnter. 'All were there to 
US, to Mclciime ns and offer us water. 

I was not thirsty. I did not drink, hut I did not 
wish to refu.-c the oner of the lirst Serbian citi/.eu I 
set eves on and who trieeted me ami wished me hick. 
For luck. then, and at the auspicious time, and with 
a kiiid of faith I swallowed a mouthful of water. 
I took that monthfnl of writer full of faith as if it 
had been the Holy Communion. I communicated in 
this holy water which sprinus from our soil, which to 
us is holy. 

The results of the capture of the Kaymak- 
chalan were far reaching. On October 3 the 
Bulgarians abandoned the whole ridge of the- 



Starkov Grob their whole first line from 
Krushograd to the Nidje Planina. The victori- 
ous Serbians pushed forward to Petalino (on the 
extreme western slopes of the Kaymakchalan) 
and reached the loop of the Tcherna River. 
To the west the Allied forces advanced from 
Petorak and Vrbeni (which they had occupied 
on October 2) almost up to the frontier to Nego- 
chani and beyond the frontier to Kenali, their 
extreme left resting at Pisoderi at the head 
of the Jelova valley. Thence they pushed 
west the following day to Popli (on Lake 
Prespa) and N.W. to Buv, on the slopes of the 
Stara Nerechka. A rapid advance from these two 
places brought the French forces by October 8 
to Yermano and Kishovo respectively. For the 
moment this concluded the advance of the Allies' 
extreme left wing. It was necessary to await 
the arrival of the Italian forces moving 
eastward through Northern Epirus before the 
mountains to the west of Monastir could be 

In their invasion of August 18 the Bulgarians 
had pushed west as far as Koritsa (S.W. of 
Lake Prespa), whence they ejected the Greek 

garrison. It was rumoured that their intentions 
in this direction were to join the Austrian 
forces in Albania in a combined attack on the 
Italian army occupying Avlona. Anxiety was 
felt in Italy for the safety of this expeditionary 
force. Reinforcements were sent and the 
Greek Government's actions or inaction 
having shown that their friendship was no 
longer to be relied on, the Italian command 
proceeded to occupy strategic positions. A 
month later (October 2) the important harbours 
of Ayii Saranda (or Santi Quaranta) and 
Khimara were occxipied by the Italian forces.. 
The troops in occupation of Tepeleni marched, 
south, took possession of Ergeri (Argirokastron)i 
and joined up with the newcomers. During 
the next three weeks the Italian Expeditionary 
Force made its way through the broken country 
of Northern Epirus. and on October 25 it was 
announced that it was in touch with the Allies'" 
left wing, where, about the same time, the 
French occupied Koritsa. This growing threat 
to the Bulgarians from the west was an impor- 
tant and essential preliminary to the abandon- 
ment of Monastir. 

lOfficial photograph. 




////: 77.v/-> HISTORY or THE MM/;. 

But tin- chief -truuu'ie t'<u- tin- coveted city 
nece.->arily took place to the en-it. The Sri-- 
bums, after their victory of Knymakchnlnn. 
were faced hy tlic triple barrier of tlie Tcherna 
Kiver. the rough Morihovo plateau and the 
Selechkn Mountains ill their \\e-tward advance 
on Monastir. The Serbians had reached the 
Tcherna through Petaliuo on October 4. On 
October (> they forced t heir u ay past the Dobro 
I'olje ("goud field") heights, part of which 
t hey occupied, and descended to Bndimirca and 
Grunishte. On October 9 they crossed the 
Tcherna at the important point known as Skochi- 
vir, where, as its name shows, the placid river 
breaks into " rapids " in the narrow defile into 
which the approaching Seiechka and Starkov 
Grob mountains squeeze it. Further \\e-t 
the Serbians also crossed the Tcherna between 
Dobroveni and Brod. The Bulgarians an- 



noimced on Octolxr 8 that, "after his sangui- 
nary detent," the enemy had "abandoned his 
attempts to advance," but "the enemy" did 
not clo anything of the sort. On October ! 
Solid admitted that "some enemy battalions " 
had "crossed the Tcherna." Prisoners in con- 
siderahle numbers were coming in ; between 
September 20 and October 10 it was calculated 
that some 3,000 of the enemy had been captured 
on the various Macedonian fronts ; of these the 
Serbians took 800 on October 8 and 9. On 
October 1 1 the Serbians " gained a footing " 
in the village of Brod, on the north bank of the 
Teh Tna. Foraday ortwo further advance was 
held up, but on October 14, after artillery 
preparation, the Allied forces began a powerful 
offensive under the eyes of General Sarrail 
and the Prince Regent of Serbia. There u as 
fierce fighting for some days, the enemy making 
a determined, and at first successful, resistance. 
On October 17, however, the Serbian Army 
under General Mishich's command carried the 
villages of Velyeselo and Brod and their cavalry 
pursued the enemy to the north. Gardilovo 
also fell into their hands, and its capture 
threatened to cut off the Bulgarian forces 
who were holding the French and Russians 
on the Kenali River - Sakulevo line. They 
began to fall back across the Tcherna by the 
Bukri Bridge and so leave the way to Monastir 
open. The Serbians on their part pushed 
north from Gardilovo towards Baldenci, and 
on October 1 9 and 20 took a large number of 
nuns and about 1,000 prisoners, among the 
latter a German officer and 43 men, part of a 
reinforcement which the Germans had hastily 
sent from East Prussia to their hard-pressed 
ally. Among these were some Alsatians, who 
showed little desire to fight the allies of the 
French. On the following day further progress 
was made towards Baldenci and north of 
Skochivir, but then for a time operations were 
interrupted by a break in the weather. General 
Mishich and the Second Serbian Army were 
thus held up just at a moment when speed was 
essential and time was given to the enemy to 
reinforce his beaten army. Encouraged by the 
arrival of German contingents, the Bulgarians 
on October 22 attempted to recover the ground 
lost three days before, but their attacks were 
repulsed with heavy losses, and a Serbian 
counter-attack advanced the line 700 yards 
further north. On October 24 the enemy was 
e\ [idled from the slopes of the Starkov Grob 



and the Serbians seized a fortified height at the 
confluence of the Tcherna and the Stroshnitsa. 
North of Brod fighting continued fiercely 
during the next few days. Oardilovo, which 
had been lost, was recovered by the French 
on October 28. In spit* of the bad weather 
and mud the Serbians made steady, if slow, 
progress. Their objective was the Novak 
Bridge, which is the eastern entrance to 
Monastir. The wooden bridge over the Tcherna 
at Bukri was destroyed by Serbian artillery 
fire on October 29. Attempted enemy thrusts 
at the Serbian right wing south of Po!og and 
Budimirca were successfully parried on Novem- 
ber 4 and 5. Similar attempts met with similar 
results on November 7 and 9. 

On November 10 came the Serbian reply. The 
enemy's strong positions on the rocky heights 
of Chukc (some 1,400 feet above the valley), at 
the extreme south of the Selechka range, were 
stormed. His losses were very heavy, and he 
left in the hands of the Serbians 000 prisoners 
and considerable material in guns and stores. 
All his counter-attacks failed, the only result 
being that the Serbians captured 1,000 fresh 
prisoners and pushed their line farther forward. 
The southern half of the village of Polog was 

already captured. On November 12 Iven, -a 
village farther north, was also taken, and now 
the whole Serbian army had effected the crossing 
of the Tcherna. Sixteen field guns and a great 
quantity of other war material fell into the 
victors' hands. The Bulgarians were forced 
to fall back 3,000 yards to the north. On 
November 13 there were " bloody engage- 
ments " with the enemy. The Serbians secureo 
their positions near Tepavci and made 1,000 
fresh prisoners, the majority of them Germans. 
On November 15 enemy Cffmmwniqlf&x admitted 
the " withdrawal of their defence.'' The 
Serbians took the village of Chegel and pushed 
on against Hill 1212. The following day 
they advanced from Tepavoi on Jarashok. 
They were already dangerously near to tlv> 
Novak bridge and the enemy could no longer 
risk maintaining his right wing on the Kenali- 
Bukri line. On November 14 he withdrew his 
whole line some five miles and took up a new and 
last position at Bistricn, his left here protected 
by the Bistrica stream, which flows through 
marshy country to the Tcherna. The pursuing 
P'ranco-Russian forces occupied Jabyani, Poro- 
din, and Velushina and reached the river Viro. 
The Serbians at the same time captured Nego- 




chari and the monastery of Jarashok. The 
enemy took up position on Hill 1378. It was, 
however, impossible for him any longer to 
protect himself in Monastir. The Serbians, 
advancing from the east, stormed Hill 1212, 
in spite of the desperate resistance of the 
Bulgarian 40th Regiment. On the left the 
French and Russians were pressing against 
the Bistrica lines. Monastir was untenable. 
It was hastily evacuated, and on November 
19, at 8 a.m., French troops entered the much- 
coveted city. 

It was exactly four years since the Serbian 
armies under the Crown Prince Alexander, 
pressing from the north, had overthrown Zekki 
Pasha's troops after a four days' battle and won 
the capital of Macedonia. It was not the 
Serbians who were destined in 1916 to set first 
foot in their most southern city. But it was 
indisputably they who had most contributed to 
its recovery. All the Allied cunt ingents, indeed, 
shared in the honour of the success. To the 
east, on the Strumiv and Doiran fronts, Crncrul 
Miluc's army hod during October and November 
allowed the Bulgarians and their Allies little 
rest and compelled them to concentrate there 
many of the heavy guns which might have 
helped tn guard t he Tch'-rna line. On the Serbo- 
Creek frontier Italian contingents had main- 
tained an invaluable pressure on the enemy's 
centre. It w:is, too. the Italian advance 

through Albania which had threatened Mona- 
stir from the west and so completed the encir- 
cling of the town. The large French and 
smaller Russian forces had played a foremost 
part in the advance from Fiorina direct on 
Kenali and Monastir and well deserved to 
recover Monastir for the ally they had so 
brilliantly assisted. But by common consent 
it was the Serbians themselves to whom chief 
honours belonged. It was they who had 
stormed the peaks of Kaymakehalan (one of 
the most brilliant feats of the campaign), 
forced the passage of the Tcherna, fought their 
way through the rocky ridges of the Chuke and 
Morihovo. " It is thanks to the Serbians that 
we have won the town," said a French Colonel 
who was one of the first to enter it. Their losses 
had been very heavy. Their honour was the 
greater. To few armies can any town have 
been a dearer goal 1 han Monastir to the Serbian 

The capture was still more important 
from the political than from the military 
point of view. Strategically, it was indeed 
a considerable success. The Allies' line now 
ran continuously across the Balkan peninsula 
from the Struma to the Adriatic. Its ri;^ht 
was protected by the Struma itself ; 
its centre ran fairly exactly along the 
mountainous Serbo-Greek frontier: its left, 
after passing somewhat circuitously through 


Monastir, round Lake Prespa, and thence 
through the tangled mountain system of 
Southern Albania, rested securely on the 
Adriatic ports of Avlona, Khimara and Ayii 
Saranda. It is true that Monastir itself was 
not a perfectly safe residence for the victors ; 
regardless of the fact that he claimed it as a 
" Bulgarian " town, the enemy continued to 
shell it ruthlessly throughout the winter from 
the mountainous heights to west and north slill 
in his possession. But its occupation gave an 
opening for a farther advance, when the oppor- 
tune moment should arrive later on, along the 
Pelagonian plain to Prilep, whence, through 
the Babuna Pass, ran the route to Veles and the 
Vardar valley. At least the menace of an 
enemy thrust on the Allies' left was destroyed 
for good. The capture of Monastir marked, if 
not the end, at least the turning-point, of the 
Salonika expedition. 

Politically it meant far more. Not only did 
it mean the return of the Serbs to an important 
district of their country. Its capture was the 
symbol of the eventual failure of pan-Bulgarian 
dreams. Monastir to the Bulgarians " Bito- 
lya " was indeed an entirely cosmopolitan city 
in .which Greeks, Turks, Jews, Rumans, 
Albanians, Bulgars, Serbs and " Macedonians " 
lived and quarrelled together. But it repre- 

sented the old Bulgarian Empire. It was 
Okhrida and the Monastir district that had 
formed the centre of Tsar Samuel's dominions 
at the end of the tenth century. From 1870 on 
the Bulgarian Exarchist propaganda had been 
vigorously engaged in the proselytization of the 
district. It was, in certain contingencies, to 
have fallen to Bulgaria under the Serbo-Bul- 
garian secret treaty of March 13, 1912. 
Bulgaria's treacherous attack on her Allies 
on June 30, 1913, resulted in the forfeit 
of this reward. But to every Bulgarian, and 
especially to Dr. Vladoff's Macedonian party, 
the recovery of Monastir was one of the chief 
(though not the only) attractions of interven- 
tion. While in November, 1915, the Germans 
were still cajoling King Constantino with the 
promise that if Monastir were occupied at all it 
would be occupied jointly by Austrian, German 
and Bulgarian troops this was actually done 
for a short time and might eventually be ceded 
to Greece in return for a guarantee of her 
continued neutrality, by December 9, 1915,. 
even German and Austrian papers found them- 
selves forced to quote with approval the 
unanimous demand of the Bulgarian press that 
Monastir should become and remain purely 
Bulgarian. Its fall was, therefore, a severe 
blow to Bulgarian dreams. The dissatisfaction 




[Official photograph. 



of the public was ill concealed by the evasive announcement of the peace proposal of the 

consolations of the leading articles in the pres-s. 
The dissatisfaction might probably have found 
louder utterance had not the capture of 
Bukarest, on December 6, and Radoslavoffs 

Central Powers, on December 12, for a time 
diverted public attention. But the fall of 
Monastir remained a political, as well as mili- 
tary, fact of far-reaching importance. 





THE part played by the French Navy 
in the war was not fully explained as 
the war progressed, and was not, there- 
fore, generally well understood. The 
French Fleet exerted a very important influence 
throughout the whole of the operations, but, 
like the British Fleet, it worked in silence, and 
the official communique 9 did not give a picture 
of its activities. It provided for the reinforce- 
ment of the French armies on the Marne, the 
Somme, and on all the long length of the line 
to the Vosges ; the brigade it landed in 1914 
fought gloriously at Dixmude and elsewhere on 
the Yser ; it took a leading share in paralysing 
the initiative of the Austrian Fleet at Pola ; it 
patrolled a large part of the Mediterranean ; 
it left imperishable memories at the Dardanelles ; 
in alliance with a British squadron it was 
behind the land forces at Salonika and in 
Egypt ; its flotillas were active in the Channel 
and even in the North Sea ; and in many distant 
regions of the world it assisted in putting an 
end to enemy commerce and in the subjection 
of the possessions of Germany in Africa and in 
the Pasiflc. There were many glorious deeds 
to be inscribed in its records, enterprise, heroism, 
fortitude in the most terrible trials of war, 
coolness in danger and the long patience of the 
sea ; and the losses it suffered in ships, officers, 
and men neither shook its confidence nor 
diminished its resolution. 

It was fortunate for the Allies that the Anglo- 
French Entente had indicated to France a clear 
Vol. XII. Part 145. 

and definite line of naval policy on the out- 
break of war. The main force of the Fleet 
had been concentrated in the Mediterranean, 
and only a few of the older cruisers remained, 
with strong flotillas, at Brest. There is weak- 
ness in naval coalitions, but the best results 
would be attained by clearly defining zones 
or regions of activity. England must be 
charged with the control of the North Sea and 
the Channel ; and France of the Mediterranean. 
In France there had been strong opposition to 
this arrangement, chiefly among those who 
regarded the Anglo-French Entente as platonic, 
and questioned its real permanence and value, 
but the redistribution was carried through, 
and the situation indicated existed in practice 
at the outbreak of war. 

The French Navy suffered under some dis- 
advantages. A political storm had in March, 
1914, driven from office M. Monis, Minister of 
Marine, who, after a conference with Mr. 
Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the 
Admiralty, had undertaken a further recon- 
stitution of the French war organization. The 
reforms remained incomplete, and the German 
assault found M. Monis's successor, M. Gauthicr. 
a doctor of medicine, in course of initiation in 
the duties of his office. M. Gauthier promptly 
resigned, and was succeeded by M. Augagneur, 
who held office until October 1915, when M. 
Briand became Prime Minister, and Admiral 
Lacaze became Minister of Marine. 

It is also to be noted that the French Navy 





was completely imbued with the doctrine and 
inspired with the training for the grande balai/lr 
en haute mer the achieving of glorious victories 
in fleet engagements but found itself instead 
employed in the sedentary work of patrol and 
blockade, which was not congenial to the 
ardent spirit of officers and men. Yet a French 
admiral remarked that it was really a fortunate 
thing for the French Navy that the enemy was 
not within its reach, and, in fact, declined to be 
brought to action. 

At 8 p.m. on August 2, 1914, Rear-Admiral 
Rouyer received orders to proceed up the 
Channel to the Straits of Dover and forbid the 
passage to the enemy. His force consisted 
merely of six old armoured cruisers, the 
Marseillaise (flag), Admiral Aube, Jeanne 
d'Arc, Gloire (broad pennant of the second-in- 
command, Captain Le Cannelier), Gueydon, and 
Dupetit-Thouars, with a dozen torpedo-bouts. 
What could the Rear- Admiral have done if the 
whole (irrmtin Fleet had come down upon 
him ? But that was not to be. On t he 
morning of August 3 British destroyers com 
municated to the French flotilla the happy in- 
telligence that the Grand Fleet was ready to 
intervene if the German Fleet moved against 
France. On August 2 the British Cabinet had 
given h'r.inee the assurance that, "if the Ger- 
man Fleet comes into the Channel or through 
the North Sea to undertake hostile operations 
against French coasts or shipping, the British 
Fleet will give all the protection in its power." 

The situation was immediately cleared by this 
news, and interest was transferred to the Medi- 
terranean. Italy was a member of the 
Triple Alliance, and it was necessary to be very 
cautious and watchful, but the early declaration 
of Italian neutrality speedily removed what 
might conceivably have been the greatest 
preoccupation of the French Xaval Com- 
mand. There still remained the danger that 
the German cruisers then in the Mediter- 
ranean might attempt to interfere with the 
transport of troops and supplies from Algeria 
and Tunis, which the military authorities re- 
garded as a matter of the most urgent import- 
ance. The fact that the Goeben and Breslau 
issued from Briiidisi, and rushed westward to 
bombard Bona and Philippeville, on the morning 
of August -t, confirmed the impression that they 
intended to surprise and sink some of the 
transports leaving the Algerian ports. The 
two cruisers would, of course, have been no 
match for a powerful fleet, but their high speed 
made them formidable for a raid of this kind. 
In the event, however, such were the combina- 
tions effected by the British and French Naval 
torces that the German cruisers were obliged to 
abandon their object, and to fly at their utmost 
speed to the Dardanelles, with their pursuers 
close at their heels. 

The French Fleet had left Toulon at 4 a.m. 
on the morning of August 3, and had extended 
fan-like in three groups directed severally towards 
the ports of Philippeville, Algiers, and Oran. 


The first group was under command of Viee- 
Admiral Chooheprat, in the Diderot, the second 
of Vice-Admiral Le Bris (Patrie), and the third 
of Rear-Admiral Guepratte (SufTren). Vice- 
Admiral Bone de Lapeyrere, commander-in- 
chicf. liiid his flag in the Courbet, and was with 
the second group directed towards Algiers. 
When abreast of the Balearic Isles, wireless 
brought intelligence of the presence of the 
German cruisers, and at the same time the latter 
learned of the menace that endangered them. 
It was quite uncertain whether they would 
attempt to escape through the Straits of Gib- 
raltar, but the French squadrons definitely 
turned them to the east, and the danger dis- 

In this way the French troops from Algeria 
and Tunis were secured from imminent attack. 
This had been the first object of the French 
Commander-in-Chief, and the troops came 
in accordance with a plan long pre-arranged, 
and first fought at the Battle of the Marne. 
The 10th Army Corps in Algeria belonged 
to the "Metropolitan Army," and the total 
number of troops in Algeria and Tunis was 
about 83,000. Including soldiers of special 
categories, the transport involved the carry- 
ing across the Mediterranean of upwards 
of 100,000 men, with horses, mules, heavy 
and field 'guns, warlike and general stores, 
aeroplanes, hospital requisites, clothing, 
food, forage, camp equipment, and even 


building materials, coal and petrol. Mar- 
seilles, Toulon and other southern ports were 
filled with transports bringing these troops, 
while an immense transport of troops from 
Indo-China began, which traversed the whole 
length of tli'.- Mediterranean from Port Said. 
The old Cochin-China transports, Vinh-Long, 
Bien-Hoa and Duguay-Trouin, came in'-.o new 
youth, and found a great sphere of activity. 
Across and through the Mediterranean there 

French Minister of Marine. 

was thenceforward a continuous transport 
operation, for troops were always arriving and 
departing in great numbers, with all the vast. 
requirements of fighting armies. ^Salonika and 
the Dardanelles increased the demands, and the 
\\oundcd had to be transported and repatriated. 
The steamers France IV., Bretagne. Ceylan, 
Canada, Carthage, Divona, Tchad, Sphinx, 
and others were requisitioned. The activity of 
enemy Submarines complicated the matter, 
but the organization was complete, and the 
French Xavy had charge of the whole of the 
c6nvoy and patrol, the shield of the British 
naval forces operating, of course, as a guard. 
Details of the organization were not disclosed. 
but it will be realized that a work of enormous 
difficulty was undertaken and uclreved with 

I I .V-l' 

THK 77. !//>' HIXWHY Of THE WAR. 

complete IUOOM8. 'I'll'' lo-ses and misliaps 
were very few. 

The great transport of troops was not the 
only care of the French Navy. The Austro- 
Himgarian squadron at Pola became its prin- 
cipal objective. Its flotillas were a constant 
menace, but as the squadron itself practised the 
reticent strategy of the German High Sea 


Fleet, and refused to be drawn into action, it 
was necessary to establish a blockade, which 
was accomplished effectively, and conducted 
for over nine months, until Italy declared war 
on May 23, 1915, and partially relieved the 
French Fleet of this duty. Such were the 
geographical conditions of the Adriatic, with 
the great fringe of islands along the Dalmatian 
coast, admirable base for enemy flotillas, im- 
plying the need of blocking both Pola and 
Cattaro, that it was decided to establish the 
blockade at the Straits of Otranto, with Malta 

as the base, at a distance of 400 miles. Lissn 
was seized as an advanced base. There was 
always the possibility of the bigger Austrian 
ships issuing from Pola, using Sebenico, Spa- 
lato or Zara as a base, and establishing a strong 
and menacing position at the Bocche di Cat- 
taro. Sweeps of the Adriatic were to be made 
from time to time, and the provisioning and 
supplying with munitions of Montenegro and 
Serbia were in charge of the French Fleet. 

It was a difficult and dangerous business, as 
events proved. There were large numbers of 
patrolling vessels, but the big ships had to 
remain at sea, returning periodically to Malta, 
and were subjected to great hazard. French 
battleships had never before cruised for such 
long periods between their visits to port. 
Admiral Boue de Lapeyrere was in supreme 
command, after the departure of Admiral Sir A. 
Berkeley Milne in August, 1914, and a British 
light cruiser squadron was with him. The 
bombardment of Cattaro began in that month 
and was continued intermittently. A demon- 
stration was made on August 16, when the 
Austrian light cruiser Zenta was destroyed off 
Antivari, but this raid and others did not 
tempt the Austro-Hungarian Fleet to come out. 
Its flotillas, issuing through the channels behind 
the islands, became very menacing to the 
blockading forces. They were supported by 
swift cruisers, and accompanied by aeroplanes, 
and at intervals the battleship Diderot and 
the armoured cruisers Leon Gambetta, Victor 
Hugo, and Jules Ferry were attacked. The 
Gambetta was a second time menaced by a 
submarine on September 2, but compelled her 
assailant to submerge. In October the French 
light cruisers had escorted a transport laden 
with supplies and munitions to Antivari, and 





the armoured cruiser Waldeck-Rousseau, which 
had accompanied them, narrowly escaped a 
torpedo discharged by an enemy submarine, 
while aeroplanes were dropping bombs. 

Episodes of this kind were frequent when 
the French attempted to carry necessary 
supplies to the Allied ports. The new Dread- 
nought Jean Bart arrived, and was flying 
the flag of the Admiralissimo when she was 
struck by a torpedo on December 21, but 
fortunately with damage which was easily 
repaired. An effort to strike at the Austrian 
Fleet at Pola was made by the French sub- 
marine Curie, but she was entangled and cap- 
tured off the port on December 24. From 
all this it will be seen how very anxious and 
hazardous was the work of the French Navy 
at the entrance to the Adriatic. It was in an 
enterprise to carry help to Montenegro that the 
destroyer Dague was sunk by a mine off 
Antivari on February 24, 1915. The blockade 
was of great value to the Allies because, though 
submarines occasionally passed through the 
guard, any important activity on the part 
of the Austro-Hungarian Fleet was rendered 

The most tragic event of the blockade was 
the sinking of the Leon Gambetta. The 
cruiser had been rendering great service from 
the beginning. Her company were looking 
forward to a return to Toulon, where important 
work was required to fit the ship for further 
work at sea. An old French sea song has the 
refrain : " C'est la q'u'y en aura du vin dans les 
bidons ! " But no officer or man thought of 
escape from his duties. The Leon Gambetta 
was torpedoed on April 27, 1915, by the Austrian 
submarine U5, Lieutentnt von Trapp, and in 
the resulting disaster 084 gallant officers and 
men were lost, out of a total complement of 

821. Not a single officer was among the sur- 
vivors. There had always been the possibility 
of the Austro-Hungarian squadron attempting 
to escape and join the Goeben and Breslau at 
the Golden Horn, with the object of depriving 
the Russians of their command of the Black 
Sea. At the particular date of the disaster 
the watch had been redoubled in vigilance 
because the transport of troops for Galli- 
poli was then in progress. The blockading 
line had been brought as far south as possible, 
because of the submarine menace, and between 
Cape Santa Maria di Leuca, the heel of the 
Italian boot, and Cape Ducata, on an island off 
the coast of Albania, it had been divided into 
four sectors, each patrolled by light forces, 
with an armoured cruiser .as leader. 

The Gambetta, with her division, was posted 
nearest to the Italian shore, and she flew the 
flag of Rear-Admiral Senes, in command. The 
heavy winter weather was over, in which the 
. seamen had given proof of great hardihood and 
endurance in a most arduous and exacting task, 
and flat calms and spring mists had followed. 
The moon was almost at the full, and the Gam- 
betta, which had been steaming at 10 knots 
during the day, had reduced to 6 knots in order 
to economize coal. Except for the whalers, 
the boats had been swung inboard in order to 
widen the field of fire of the anti-torpedo guns, 
at which the men slept. No one was surprised 
by what followed. The warnings had been 
many, and officers and men had learned to look 
death calmly in the face. The danger was 
expected from the attack of destroyers, sub- 
marines not having as yet attempted to operate 
by night. At 20 minutes after midnight, 
however, a torpedo, discharged by an enemy 
vibmarine, struck the Gambetta on the port 
side, entering the dynamo compartment, which 


////: 77.w/-:N 

i' TIII-: 

produced current for the electric light and the 
wireless -er\ iee. ami the cruiser was immediately 
plunged into darkness and cut off from 0111- 
tiiuuicatiou with the outside world. A few 
seconds Inter a second torpedo penetrated one 
of the boiler rooms, and the engines stopped : 
hut the cruiser Ucpt her way slowly until she 
sunk some twenty minutes later. Captain 
Andre, on the bridge, where h" slept, gave 
orders to fill the starhoanl compart ments. in 
the hope of keeping the vessel upon an even 
keel. " He awaited death at his post of 
command, having given all necessary orders for 

men to reach the deck and endeavour to escape. 
Oneollicer. possessing great fortitude. Mood up 
to his knees in water for the cruiser was heeling 
:;u degrees to port calmly lighting a cigar to 
inspire the men with calmness like his own. 
Moats were launched, some were liroken against 
the hull, killing some men, injuring others, 
easting many into the water : floating material 
was set adrift, and, with splendid order, the 
ship's company were bidden to save themselves 
if they could. ''Courage! Nous mourrons 
ensemble ! " cried the officers to those for whom 
there was no hope. The Admiral, Captain and 


the safety of his company." Admiral Senes, 
when he learned that the wireless could not 
make the S.O.S. signal, encouraged the men to 
endure and persevere to the last. " To the 
boats ! " was the order. " Me steady, my 
children ! The boats are for you ; we officers 
will remain ! " " Nous autres, nous restons ! " 
-words, says Commandant Vedel, who h.-'- 
preserved them in his admirable little book 
\IIM Miiriiixii In (,'iiirr''. which should lie gra\ en 
in letters of gold on the bridges of all French 
-hips of war. with the name of him who uttered 

There was no panic. Discipline was pre- 
served. " Light ! light ! " was the only cry. 
The officers wen- everywhere encouraging and 
helping the men. The sick and wounded were 
brought ii]) from the sick-bay. In the I. >we;- 
flat- oflieers with pocket -ton-lies were enabling 

some officers were still clinging to the bridge, 
whence came the cry, " Vive la France ! " 
which was taken up by the men still on board, 
and by those in the sea. Then the great cruiser 
turned, and went down by the head. Of the 
137 survivors many were brought to land by 
the Italian destroyers Impavido and Indomito. 
The conduct of every man of the sunken cruiser 
had been noble, and that of the officers mag- 
nificent. Not an officer lived to tell th" tale. 
Th" story of the sea has few more lustrous 
epi-odes than that of the sinking of the Leon 
(iambetta, and happily the survivors made 
their record of it. 

The Italian declaration of war, May 23, 1!)15, 
brought the Italian Fleet into the war, and the 
French were relieved of the heavy blockade 
work which they had conducted so gallantlv 
and well. For ten months the blockade had 


been continued witn many classes of vessels, 
uitii really remarkable endurance. At the 
I line of the inters cation of Italy, Vice-Admiral 
Boue de Lapeyrere issued an Order of the Day " 
to the Fleet, commending his ollicers for their 
tireless zeal, energy and sell'. sacrifice displayed 
m supporting him in "the most arduous and 
thankless tasks which naval forces ever had to 
accomplish." The Vice-Admiral resigned on 
grounds of ill-health in October, and was 
succeeded by Vice- Admiral Dartige du Fournct. 
who had been in command off the Syrian 
coast . 

lie picked his way to the mine field and cut 
the cables of about 100 mines, which he 
destroyed. French submarines were, indeed, 
brilliantly enterprising, and rendered most 
valuable service in many hazardous duties. 
The Fresnel was sunk by nil enemy flotilla off 
San Giovanni di Medua, December 5, 1915, and 
the Morige near Durazzo on the 20th of the 
same month. Subsequently, French flotillas 
and naval aeroplanes were frequently reported 
as engaged in active work in the Adriatic,. 
The submarine Foucault was concerned in 
sinking an Austrian light cruiser in January, 


French forces continued to cooperate with 
the Italian Fleet, sharing in the delicate task 
of transporting an army to Albania, and in 
that wonderfully successful work, the with- 
drawal of the Serbian Army. Splendid things 
were achieved by flying men and submarine 
commanders. Sub-Lieutenant Rouillet, a 
French airman, dropped bombs on the Austrian 
submarine I'll on July 1, 1915, one of them 
bursting near her conning tower, killing four 
men and woundiii',' others, besides damaging I he 
submarine herself. The destroyer Bisson sank, 
by gun-fire, on August !.">. 1!M5, the Austrian 
submarine U.'i. and the submarine I'apin 
torpedoed some eii"iny destroyers. The com- 
manding officer of the latter boat. Lieutenant 
Cochin, carried out an enterprise of astounding 
hardihood which had perhaps had no paiallei 
in the war. In clearing an area of mines. 

1916, and was herself sunk, apparently by 
aeroplane bombs, in the following September. 
The destroyer Renaudin was torpedoed and 
sunk by an Austrian submarine, February 18, 
1916. On May 4, 1916, an Austrian destroyer 
was sunk by the French submarine Bernouilli. 

Thi> events at the Dardanelles and in the 
(iallipoli Peninsula have been dealt with at 
length in several previous chapters. It will 
sulliee, therefore, lo give here merely such a 
brief sketch of the course of operations as will 
make clear the share of the French Fleet in 
them. The relations of the Allied Fleets at the 
Dardanelles were intimate and satisfactory 
from the very beginning, and British and 
French officers worked together with the utmost 
Confidence, cordiality and understanding. Vice- 
Admiral Sir Sackville C'ardcn was in command, 



and that gallant and energetic officer, Rear- 
Admiral Guepratte, with his flag in the Suffren, 
commanded the French forces under his orders. 
As the Tenedos Times said : 

Armies on land, the Fleets at sea, 

What better alliance could there be ? 

We'll lead the German dogs a dance, 

England for ever ! Vive la France ! 

After the German cruisers had taken refuge 
in the Dardanelles, British ships remained to 
establish a watching blockade, and on Sep- 
tember 26, 1914, they were joined by the 
French battleships Suffren and Verity. On 
the very night of the arrival of the French ships 
the Allied squadron navigated in company 
without lights, and on the next day the ships 
engaged in steam evolutions, manoeuvring in 
lino and abreast, altering course together, and 
in other movements showing that the brother- 
hood of arms was already giving the desirable 
cohesion to the combined forces. .On N jvember 
3, Turkey having tlirown in her lot with the 
Central Powers, orders had arrived to make a 
demonstration against the forts at the entrance 
to the Dardanelles. The Indefatigable and 
Indomitable, followed by the Suffren MTK! 
Verite, approached at 15 knots to within a range 
of about 13,000 yards, and shelled the defences, 
inflicting a good deal of damage, especially at 
KIIIII Kiili-. which was the target of the Suffren. 
Tin* nlijcet was understood to be to discover. by 
means of a practical test, the effective range of 
the Turkish forts. 

This warning to the Turks, however, set them 
it work, with the active advice a-id assistance 
of their Certnan masters, in making good the 
damage done, preparing to mount new guns, 
providing mobile batteries, accumulating am- 
niuiutioti, digging trenches, and obtaining large 
<|u;mtities of mines in order to be ready to 


sow the waters with these engines. The 
winter came on w and in that region, visited 
frequently by violent gales and heavy seas, 
the task of the blockaders was of the most 
difficult. Damage was sometimes suffered, 
making necessary the return of ships to their 
bases to undergo repair. The principal naval 
base was- established at Mudros. It was the 
practice for the ships to lie at single anchor at 
Tenedos during daylight, with banked fires, and 
to patrol at night upon appointed sectors of 
the sea outside the entrance to the Dardanelles. 
No lights were carried by the ships, and the 
need of very cautious navigation' made it an 
anxious time for their captains and navigators. 
In the French ships it was the practice to post 
an observer, provided with a good night glass, 
on -each bow and each quarter of the vessel. 
Each of these observers was responsible for 
watching the sea in the sector comprised 
between two lines extended from the ship as a 
centre to the two extremities of a quadrant of 
the circle. In this way the whole sea was under 
observation, and the watchers were instructed 
to report anything that might betoken the 
existence of any vessel or floating buoy or other 
object, and especially anything that might 
appear in the way of a periscope or air bubbles, 
indicating the presence of a submarine. Men 
lay by the searchlights and guns really for anj 
emergency or alarm. 

Tin- weary work of watching during the 
winter, in a period of intermittent roaring gales 
and flat -ca'ms, was marked by no mishaps. 
Commandant Vedel has preserved an extract 
from a letter or journal of Sub -Lieutenant 
Coindreau, who was in the French flagship, 
throwing light upon the winter work. " Our 
ole diversion was to visit Sigri in the island of 



Mitylene, the Lesbos of the Ancients, for coal. 
While a collier transferred to us as quickly as 
possible supplies for our bunkers, we eagerly 
scanned the little houses of a village on the 
coast through a cloud of impalpable dust 
which invaded everywhere on board and raised 
a veil between us and the land. With the aid 
of a glass we could see children playing before 
the doors, which was a s( rt of consolation to us 
who never left the ship, showing us that not 
all tho joy of life was banished from the world. 
And when a local vessel, entering the port 
or leaving it, slid easily through the oily sea, 
the quiet of her movements contrasted with the 
fever of our own reminded us that the evil 
dream of war would yet have its end." 

The causes which led to one of the most 
disastrous series of events in our naval and 
military history have no place here. The 
decisions were taken in London, and the French 
agreed to and loyally acquiesced in them, and 
were eager to participate in all. the operations 
necessary for the execution of them. The 
scheme was first propounded in November, 
1914, and the War Council decided on January 
13, 1915, that the Admiralty should prepare 
for a naval expedition in the following month 

" to bombard and take .the Gallipoli Peninsula, 
with Constantinople as its objective." M. 
Augagneur, Minister of Marine, described the 
plans as " prudent et prevoyant." The results 
were the bombardment of the outer forts on 
February 19 to 25, followed by the great naval 
attack on March 18. Several successive opera- 
tions were intended, leading tip to the decisive 
operation against Constantinople. The forts 
on the sea-front were first to Jae destroyed. 
Mine-sweepers were then to clear the entrance 
channel. Next the inner forts were to be 
silenced, and then the Kilid Bahr and Chanak 
Forts at the Narrows were tc be pulverized. 
Then the Allied Fleet would proceed into the 
Sea of Marmora. How far this programme was 
carried out, and where it was arrested, has 
been told in previous chapters. The British 
fleet had been increased to a strength of eighteen 
ships of the line, including the Queen Elizabeth, 
Inflexible, Lord Nelson, and Agamemnon. 
The French squadron now consisted of the 
Suffren (flag), Bouvet, Gaulois, and Charle- 
magne, all mounting 1 2-in. guns as their heaviest 
armament. The deep water port of Trebouki, 
in the north of the island of Skyros, was at 
times the anchorage. 



or TIII-: \v.a;. 

Tu the bombardment of February I!' t he 
Sutfren, at a range of about 10,000 yards, 
knocked out three of the tour big guns at Kum 
Kale. I lie effect of her lire being observed and 
reported by the Bouvet. which took up a 
position some '.I.OOO yards east of Cape- Helles. 
The SutYren then supported the Vengeance 
by pouring a most destructive fire on For! 
Krtogroul. one of the defences on Cape Helles. 
On the next Jav Admiral De Kobeck, on board 
the Inflexible, cordially thanked Captain de 
Marg icrye for his gallant and effective inter 


vention. Bad weather interfered with tin- 
operations, which were not resumed until 
February 2.5. When Admiral Garden had 
explained his plan to Admiral Gucprattc. the 
latter had asked to have the honour of leading 
the attack, but Admiral De Robeck was senior. 
and claimed the privilege for himself. The 
French Gaulois was in the first attack on that 
date, supporting the action of the Agamemnon 
in bombarding Kum Kale and the forts at 
I 'ape Helles, and in the second advance the 
Sufl'ren and Charlemagne and the Vengeance 
and Cornwallis advanced in pairs to attack 
the entrance forts. The French flagship 
approached to within about I.OOO \ards of t In- 
line of anchored mines hi f ire turning. Bv 
tins tremendous bombardment the outer gale 
of the Dardanelles was broken down. 

The French hail a full share in the second 
phase of the operations the perilous work of 
mine-sweeping. Intimate as was their CO- 
oiicrution with the British naval forces, it was 

a point of honour with them to provide every- 
thing that was necessary for their own share 
in the operations. Their destroyers and sub- 
marines were with the fleet. They were 
assembling a great number of trawlers, coast- 
ing \essels, yachts, tugs, tankers, repair ships. 
hospital ships, fishing vessels from Areachon. 
Monaco, and other ports, boats of every kind, 
seaplanes for discovering mines, etc. Charrue, 
Goliath, Heiiriette, Marseilltiis. I'oupre, Pro- 
vence. Kateau. I'ioche. llcisc. Chambon. Ca- 
margue, and \ ery many others. The old salts 
of the French fisheries were as splendid fellows 
as the men in the British mine-sweepers. 
They carried their lives in their hands in their 
dangerous work, which they conducted with 
the utmost coolness, often under fire, and 
menaced by German aeroplanes, which fre- 
quently dropped bombs about them. The 
work became so perilous that ultimately it 
could only be conducted at night. The mine- 
sweepers then usually entered the Straits at 
about 11 o'clock escorted by destroyers, being 
able to keep a speed of only about three knots 
against the current. The Turkish search- 
lights were alwavs endeavouring to dis,-o\ ci- 
thern, and sometimes did, but the damage 
inflicted was inconsiderable, and the mine- 
sweeping work was successful. During the day 
the battleships kept the whole space which 
had been swept by the trawlers under the fire 
of their guns, and every suspected craft ventur- 
ing from the shore was immediately surrounded 
by the splashing of shells. But the task of the 
mine-sweepers was, nevertheless, like that of 
Sisyphus, for the Turks and Germans were 
still able to plant new engines in their mine- 
fields, and they constantly set adrift floating 
mines of the most formidable character on the 
current, which is always (lowing down through 
the Dardanelles fo the Aegean. The work of 
the mine-sweepers, therefore, was continuous, 
whenever practicable at night, throughout the 
whole of these operations, and light cruisers 
anil ot her vessels wen always supporting them, 
while aeroplanes flying low endeavoured to 
discover their quarry tor them by day. The 
French mine-sweepers, though often the tar- 
gets for the shore guns, and on one or more 
occasions attacked by torpedoes from the fixed 
stations at Snau Dere and elsewhere, were. 
on the whole, more fortunate than our own. 
The Camai-L'ue and Chambon were both hit, 
and men were wounded on board, but they 
returned safely to their base. 




The Commander is at the periscope, the men are 

at their posts. 

In (he. smaller picture the air-tube is seen overhead, 
and in the centre the breech of a torpedo-tube. 

French submarines also engaged in the work 
among the enemy's minefields and found many 
opportunities for distinction. They went in 
to look out for possible mine-layers, and also 
to observe and report on the position of the 
shore guns. For the latter purpose, having 
penetrated the danger zone, they were accus- 
tomed to navigate submerged, attracting fire 
by the visible wash caused by their periscopes, 
and thus they were able to observe the positions 
of the batteries. One of them, the Coulomb, 
had a remarkable adventure, and narrowly 
escaped destruction, and ii sister boat, the 
.loule, was sunk. Both belonged to a class of 
subma iiie i built at Cherbourg, Rochefort, 

and Toulon in 1909-12, and named after 
eminent men of science. They had a dis- 
placement of 398 tons, a speed of 12J knots 
on the surface and 7| knots submerged, and 
were armed with seven tubes, and carried 30 
officers and men. Three others, the Saphir 
and Turquoise, of an earlier class, and the 
Mariotte, one of the most recent submarines, 
were also lost in the Dardanelles operations. 

The gallant action of the Coulomb, under 
command of Lieutenant Delegue, occurred on 
March 15, three days before the great attack in 
which the battleship Bouvet was sunk. It was 
a case of a mine being towed, caught out of a 
tangled minefield, and it anticipated a like 
episode in the adventurous and successful cruise 
of the British Ell, Ueut. Commander M. E. 
Nasmith, when that submarine entered Con- 
stantinople harbour in the following June and 
p 'turned carrying an enemy mine for a distance 
of eleven miles. 

The Coulomb on the occasion referred to 
reached the entrance at H;iylv;iU. as the mine- 
s weepers were coming out iii'ter their ju'irht's 
work. She navigated on the surface until of Kski Hissarlik point on the European 
side, where she submerged. Thence her course 
took her pa>r the White Cliffs and almost into 
Kephez Bay on the opposite shore. Xo sus- 

145 3 



picious vessel wu* sii. r lit''<l. and the Coulomb 
then returned for a certain distance on her 
course. She had been under a hail of fire, the 
Turkish gunners having observed the wash of 
her periscope, and rifle bullets had been 
hammering frequently on her conning tower 
and sides. She had withdrawn her periscope, 
and when she turned again to go up the Straits 
she used it only at intervals. Once more she 
approached Kephez, and then, having attained 
her purpose of locating the position of the 

a strange and terrible situation, but the com- 
manding officer was cool and collected. In the 
hope of disembarrassing himself he came to the 
surface, but no sooner had he done so than an 
enemy aeroplane, which had corne from Suan 
Dere, made a nose dive towards him and began 
*o drop bombs. He had no choice but to sub- 
merge, and in that position went slowly on. 
Then he came to the surface again, only to find 
himself in the near neighbourhood of a Turkish 
destroyer, which, having seen what had 


shore guns, altered course to return to her balse 
at Rabbit Island, but, as she did so, those on 
board felt a sudden shock and the submarine 
began to swing round. Then blows were heard 
against the hull, and the lever actuating the 
submerging planes became very difficult to 
work. Lieut. Delegue tried in vain to go at 
speed ahead, and progress was very slow. The 
striking of some object at the hull of the sub- 
marine continued, and then, as the chronicler 
has recorded, all those in the submarine 
realized that Death himself was knocking at 
the wall. The cable of a mine had hooked in one 
of the forward hydroplanes, and the mine 
itself was bumping against the shell of the boat. 
The question was whether the infernal machine 
would explode at this blow or the next. It was 

happened, had come out in the hope of giving 
the coup de grace to the submarine. Lieut. 
Delegue was too quick for him, and plunged 
once more, after which he progressed slowly 
towards the mouth of the Strait, using his 
periscope only when it was absolutely necessary, 
until at last he got out of the danger zone. 

It was an extraordinary and providential 
thing that the bumping mine, with the strange 
eccentricity which sometimes characterizes 
such destructive engines, did not explode, and 
when the submarine finally emerged, those on 
board had the joy of seeing the infernal 
mechanism, at last disengaged, float away. 
They distinctly saw the mine with its cable and 
anchor gear, which they had carried along with 
them from the Straits. A patrolling vessel also 



observed the mine, and exploded it by gun-fire. 
The submarine had had a remarkably narrow 

The four submarines lost by the French at 
the Dardanelles and in the Sea of Marmora 
were the Joule, Mariotte, Saphir, and Tur- 
quoise. Three of them met with misfortune 
in later months, after the great naval 
attack in March, but it will be convenient 
to record and describe the incidents here, 
before leaving the subject of the gallant 

company, of whom not an officer nor a man 

The Joule was commanded by Lieut. Aubert 
Dupetit-Thouars de Saint-Georges, a member 
of a very distinguished French naval family. 
He was the cousin of a brilliant officer of the 
same name in the French Navy, who was second 
in command of the flagship Suffren at the 
Dardanelles ; his uncle was the Admiral Du- 
petit-Thouars who left a name famous in the 
Pacific ; to his grand-uncle France owed the 


Beneath the 7'6 inch Guns. 

\Frr,tch official photograph. 


deeds of the French submarines. Like the 
British Ell, E14, E15, and other submarines, 
they were endeavouring to interfere with the 
Turkish transports carrying troops to the 
( Jallipoli Peninsula. On May 1 the Joule, which 
had left Mudros in the early morning, was 
engaged in this duty at the Narrows. She had 
been seen to submerge, but was not seen again. 
The Australian submarine AF.2 was sunk at the 
same time. An intercepted Turkish wireless 
message stated that an unknown submarine 
had fouled a mine, and been blown up off 
Chanak. Afterwards the Agamemnon picked 
up the air-chamber of a torpedo which had 
belonged to the Joule, and there could no longer 
be any doubt as to her fate or that of her gallant 

possession of Tahiti ; his great grand-uncle was 
the famous captain of the Tonnant at the Nile, 
the brave Dupetit-Thouars who had his foot 
shot off and his leg broken, and is stated to have 
had himself placed on a barrel that he might 
die at the post of honour, in the spirit of our 
own redoubtable Benbow, and of Witidrington, 
too, who " when his ICL'S wi-n- smitten off, he 
fought upon his stumps." The brilliant young 
officer who perished in the Joule was worthy of 
all the officers of his great name. 

The submarine Mariotte, a! of 615 
tons submerged, wliich had been very capably 
handled, was sunk by Turkish fire, July 26, 
'91">, in the Dardanelles. The Turquoise, 
which, like several British submarines, pene- 

mi-: TI.MI-:S IHXTOHY OF ////; nvi/t. 

t rut i-tl to tlir Sea of Marmora, line! th<> mis- 
fortune to pi ashore near Gallipoli, when- 
she was overpowered and raptured on Novem- 
ber ."> by tlir Turks, wlio renamed her Ahmed. 
The incident took place too far up the Straits 
1 o make it possible for enterprising men to gave 
her from this fate, as was done in the case of the 
British submarine Kl.">, when she stranded near 
Kephe/. Point. The Sa])hir was lost at an 
earlier date, in January. 

The groat attack on the forts at the Narrows 
on March 18 has heen described in a previous 
chapter, and. here it is necessary only to relate 
the operations of the French squadron, formed 
of the Suffren (Captain de Marguerye), Gaulois 


(('apt. tin Biard). Charlemagne (Captain LULU' 
sille). and Bouvel 1 1 'apt a iii Rageot de La Touche). 
which was I M ,,-I -.ilKmtly led into action by 
Admiral ( iuepratte, whom I'.ritish oOicers began 
to call the " Kire-Kater." When the British 
had poured their destructive tire on the 
torts.eausiiiL'a territiee\plo~ionin Fort Hamidieh 
on the A-iatic -ide. and setting the village of 
Ch.iiiak in flames, it was thought that such 
damage had been inflicted on the torts that tin- 
older ship- could eiiL^eje. Accordingly the 
squadron was ordered to take up a 

position about 4.000 yards in advance of the 
Hriti:h ships, and to attack the forts on both 
sides of the Narrows. The Siit'fren and I iouvet 
came within about 4, (M)O yards of Fort Dardanus 
on the Asiatic side, and within about 2,000 
yards of the White Cliffs, where many howit/ers 
ware in position. All th<> forts and batteries 


on this side were firing. The Catilois and 
Suffren kept at about the same distance from 
the shore on the European side, where t hey 
were under the fire of the batteries at Sua:i 

Admiral (iuopratte reported that all the Turkish 
guns wore well served, and that the mobile 
batteries were numerous and concealed in the, 
foli Is of the ground, and often changed their 
positions. The Krench ships were almost at 
point blank range from these guns, but had little 
time to attend to them, being engaged in shelling 
heavily the forts at the Narrows. The four 
ships suffered a piod deal from the intense (ire 
of tie enemy. "Eh bien ! " said the Admiral, 
"j'ai ressenti une vive et l/^it ime satisfaction 
a constater i|ii'en depit de vicissitudes variees, 
auciin de IKK bailments nc songeait a reculer 
d'une aemelle." They were comj)elled lo remain 
Bizaoet stopped in order to (ire efTec-tive!- 
(lie forts, movini; little more than under the 
influence of the current. 

Serious injuries were suffered by the (iaulois. 
Bouvel. and Suffren, but they maintained their 
fire with the utmost intensity. In the Bou\et, 
when fire was first opened, the pneumatic 
apparatus for driving out the deleterious nases of 
the shells in the forward 12-inch turret failed to 
act. and all the men in the turret were 
asphyxiated. lint the tiro of all the ships was 



continued until, after about an hour and a 
half's shelling of the Turkish positions, the 
French squadron was ordered by the Commam ler- 
in-Chief to withdraw. Gallant Captain Rageot 
de La louche in the Bouvet could not willingly 
resign himself to leave the scene of action, where 
he was posted nearest to the Chanak forte., 
and Admiral Guepratte hud to signal to him a 
second time to retire. He seems, like Nelson 
to have wished to turn a blind eye to the signal 
when it was first hoisted in the French flagship. 
Then he turned to follow in the wake of the 
Suffren, and, as he did so, a drifting mine 
struck his ship and tore a hole in her starboard 
side. In less than a minute the doomed vessel 
listed heavily to starboard, one of her 6'4 inch 
gun turrets breaking away and rolling into the 
sea. In an incredibly short space of time she 
disappeared, carrying with her a gallant and 
devoted company of 29 officers and 680 men. 
Of these only 71 were saved, including five 
young officers. The sinking of the Bouvet was 
a swift and terrible tragedy, but discipline 
prevailed to the last. The gallant captain and 

was when some survivors of the Bouvet were 
brought to him on board the Suffren. Among 
them was one man who was so overjoyed at 
finding himself alive tliai lie exclaimed : "Ma 
foi, Amiral, j'aurais eru qii'une mine c'etait 
plus terrible que ea ! "' 

The flagship Sut'lVeii was hit ten times by shell 
fire within fourteen minutes, and. as she turned 
to change positions with the Bouvet, a 9'4 inch 
projectile passed clean through one of her 6'4 
inch turrets, and exploded in a casemate, killing 
a dozen men and setting fire to that part of the 
ship. The fire was extinguished, but the maga- 
zine would have blown up but for the presence 
of mind of one of the warrant officers who flooded 
it. The Gaulois, on the European side of the 
Straits, was most seriously injured below water 
by the fire of one of the forts, and water entered 
in such quantities that the pumps could hardly 
cope with the danger. Captain Biard, who 
handled his ship with Consummate skill, saw his 
danger, but declined help, and disdained to seek 
safety by running the vessel on the Gallipoli 
shore, where he would have dishonoured himself 


On the left of the picture is the "Suffren," and on the extreme right the "Lord Nelson," 
both approaching the sinking ship. 

all the senior officers perished, and the few sur- 
vivors were rescued by the boats of the squadron, 
many of them by the British battleship Prince 
George. It is stated that the Turks concentrated 
fire on the rescuing boats. Admiral (iuepratte, 
in describing the disaster, said that in the most 
tremendous events there are sometimes words 
which will bring a smile to the lips, and so it 

and his flag. Instead, accepting the risk, he held 
boldly on in the hope of reaching Drepano. 
for to run toTenedos would have been impossible. 
The ship was going down by 1he Urns, and her 
progress could not but be slow. \ et everything 
wa disciplined and in order. \Yheii Admiral 
Guepratte went on hoard, the hawse-holes were 
already under water, but the bugles rang out 














Sunk in the Dardanelles March 18, 1915. 

and the guard was mounted with naval precision 
to receive him. By skilful handling, and by the 
happy fortune which attended the good seaman 
who was her captain, the ship was safely beached 
on Rabbit Island, where she was temporarily 
repaired. Of the four French ships which 
shared in this gallant action, the Charlemagne 
(Captain Lagresille), though she had fought as 
brilliantly as the others, was the only one that 
received little injury from the enemy's fire. 

How the British ships suffered which went 
in to relieve the French is well known. The 
Ocean and Irresistible were both sunk by mines, 
and the Inflexible was seriously injured both 
by shell fire and by mine. The naval attack 
was not resumed, but to both the allied squad- 
rons ships were added to replace those which 
were lost or required repair. The Suffren and 
Gaulois proceeded to Toulon, and the Charle- 
magne, with six destroyers, and the submarines 
Faraday and Le Verrier alone remained. The 
old battleship Jaureguiberry very soon arrived, 
becoming the flagship of Admiral Guepratte, 
accompanied by the coast-defence ship Henri 
Quatre. Then in April' came the destroyer 
Trident, five torpedo boats, and two submarines, 
followed by the armoured cruisers Jeanne d'Arc 
and Latouche-Treville. The battleship Saint 
Louis, and the Suffren, repaired and refitted, 
arrived in May. The great harbour of Mudros 
1 became filled with shipping of every class and 
variety. The first French battalions began to 

arrive from Alexandria about April 17, and by 
the 25th the French had assembled 15,000 men, 
with 92 guns. But to recount the gallant story 
of the disembarcation and the tremendous 
fighting, in which these troops took a great 
share, is not intended here, nor to relate the 
story of the withdrawal. 

The part played by the French warships 
must not, however, be omitted in this record. 
The British landing force left Mudros on the 
afternoon of April 25. The French were to 
make a diversion by disembarking at Kum 
Kale, with the purpose of deceiving the Turks 
into the belief that an advance in strength 
might be made upon the Chanak position. But 
the operation was not intended to be pushed 
far, and only 2,800 men were put on shore, with 
a battery of 75's. The transport work rested 
with the Navy. The troops left Mudros at 
about 10 p.m. on the 25th in five ships, accom- 
panied by a hospital ship, and were escorted by 
the Jaureguiberry, flagship, the Kussian cruiser 
Atfkold, the old " coast defence " ship Henri 
Quatre, the armoured cruiser Jeanne d'Arc and 
some rlesl rovers, while the auxiliaries Provence 
and Lorraine made a feint in Besika Bay. The 
batteries (in shore were heavily shelled by the 
ships, and the troops were successfully landed, 
except that one boat full of men was sunk and 
the men killed or drowned by one of the batteries 
ere they could strike 11 blow. The disembarca- 
tion was completed by the afternoon, and the 

77 .V/'> ///N'/o/.'V <>! Till- \\'.IH. 

men entrenched them-el\es. after hot fighting. 
in wliicli tin- warships supported them by well- 
directed fire. At da\ break mi the next morning 
the ships again shelled nil the Turkish positions, 
those on both sides of the Mendere I liver anil 
on the headland, hut (lie batteries were nut 
silenced, and the .leaillie (I'Arc slltTeivd some 
injury. On sliore the troops were menaced b\ 
increasing forces, the situation was not en - 
coin-Hiring, and tin- object ot' the i-\pedition 
having been achieved tis far as was possilile 
the\ were re embarked before the dawn. 

to Ney from Tord -sillas : "Si voiis entendie/. 
Ic- feu d. -main matin, il t'audrait innrcher droit 
sur le feu." .'lust in that spirit did Captain 
Duniesnil of the Latouche-Tr&ville steimi into 
the Dardanelles, and Admiral (iuepr.-i.tte ap- 
plauded his having lifted \vitliout orders in 
(oinini; to the aid of the troop-. 

The little cruiser she- displaced only 4,700 
tons, dated from 1892, and had been "scrapped'' 
b\ some compiler^ of h's|.~ of " eftective " ships 
\\as destined to do \-ery useful work and to gain 
irreat n-no\Mi at the Dardanelles. The main 


On the night of this landing the cruiser 
1 "'ouche-TriH-ille joined the Fleet. She had 
left Alexandria, and as she approached Lemnos 
in the after i had heard the guns at tin- 
Dardanelles at a distance of over IK) miles. 
Arriving at Mudros she found the great harbour 
empty of its \a-t array of transports and 
auxiliaries, and without a moment's hesitation 
her eommr.nder decided to steam to the sound 
of the guns. " Marche/. au c;:;ion ! " had been 
an old instruction of the French r.rmy. Napo- 
leon described it aa : first principle of war to L" > 

to the a-si, lance ot 1 1 attacked if there were 

any doubt of thi-ir success. He enforced the 
duty of marching to the sound of the guns upon 
'''" isouty, d'Hautpoul and Klein in 

October, isnii. i l:i d i,, DecctnlxT, 1SOK, he wrote 

body of the French expeditionary force lu'd 
assembled at Tenedos, being there joined by t he 
troops ret in-lied from Kuin Kale, and the dis- 
embaroation on the (inllipoli coist, within tin- 
Straits, was effected on April 27 and subsequc nt 
days. The operation included the putting on 
shore of a considerable army, with guns, 
ammunition, horses, mules, camping material. 
drinking water and an immense volume of 
Stores, and it w as accomplished by the boats 
and means furnished by the French Xavy. 
Tin- work was exceedingly arduous, for the 
beaches were often swept by enemy fire, and 
the army, having been landed, had to ho 
reinforced, supplied with munitions, and fed 
and watered. The skill and endurance of the* 
French seamen were taxed to a high degree. 



[French official [>/mlosnph. 


The Turksjnade fierce assaults on the posi- 
tions the troops had occupied, which extended 
from Sedd-el-Bahr, round Morto Bay, and to 
the Kereves Dere ravine on the north side of 
Eski Hissarlik. So sustained and threatening 
became the attacks that General d'Amade 
applied to Admiral Guepratte for the landing 
of a naval brigade to support the troops, who 
had then been fighting for six days and six 
nights, and were almost exhausted. The 
division of General Bailloud was daily expected 
to arrive, and meanwhile the need of help was 
pressing. Large parties of officers and men 
who would be required to form the naval landing 
party were at the time engaged as working 
parties ashore, but they were recalled, equipped 
and landed, accompanied by some small guns. 
It was necessary also to keep under intense 
fire the slope of Kereves Dere, where the Turks 
were attempting to drive the French out of 
their lines. 

The situation became very menacing, and 
the Latouche-Trdville, which carried two 
7'0 in., six ;V5 in. and some smaller guns, was 
chosen to execute this, duty, which involved 
considerable risk. The guns of Achi-Baba 
soon made her a target, and it was only by 
skilful seamanship in keeping under way that 
she could hope to confuse the aim of the 
gunners on that commanding position. At 
night the plucky little- cruiser anchored for a 
time about 2,000 yards from the shore, kept 
the whole ravine illuminated with her search- 
lights, so that the greatly fatigued French 
troops could not be taken by surprise, and 
systematically shelled tin- Turkish positions. 
By skilful handling she suffered little damage. 

It was a critical time, and General d'Amade 
warmly thanked the French Admiral for the 
precious help of the brigade landed in the 
emergency, and for the very effective and 
courageous service of the Latouche-Treville, 
which had prevented the Turks from attacking 
with the vigour they had previously displayed. 
Upon her support, he said, he continued to 
depend, as guard of the French right flank, and 
indeed of the flank of the Allied armies. 

This service was of the utmost importance, 
but the Latouche-Treville required fresh sup- 
plies of ammunition and some slight repairs. 
Admiral Guepratte decided, therefore, to enter 
the Straits in his own flagship, the Jamv 
guiberry. She soon came under the fire of the 
Achi-Baba batteries, while her own smaller 
guns continued to shell the Turkish positions 
in the ravine. One large shell struck the 
after part of the flagship, passed through 
the Admiral's cabin, broke up much of the 
furniture and gilt work, shattered a portrait of 
Admiral Jaureguiberry which hung there, 
scattered Admiral Guepratte's papers in great 
confusion, and exploded on the lower deck. 
The Admiral himself had a narrow escape. 
Commandant Vedel has preserved the story. 
Lieutenant Dele.uue, the same cool and capable 
ollicer who had had t he extraordinary experience 
in the submarine Coulomb, which is related 
above, was nou serving in the .laureiiuiberry 
and said of Admiral ( luepm.t te : " ]'a.s un mot, 
pas mi geste che/. eel hoiiiine qui ne sai! ce 
qiie c'est que la peur. ni me:ne <|iie 1'appre- 
hension." British ollicers did not I'urget. when 
they heard of the French Admiral's gallantry, 
that when the Atlantic Fleet visited Brest in 








1905 to cement the Anglo-French Entente, a 
ball was given on July 11 in honour of the 
visitors on board the historic and now famous 
old battleship Jaureguiberry. 

Until the close of the Dardanelles operations 
one or other of the French battleships or 
cruisers was always supporting, with effective 
fire, the operations of the troops on shore. 
One broadside usually enfiladed the enemy's 
positions at Kereves Dere, while the other 
shelled the batteries on the Asiatic side. It 
was a most dangerous duty, and the British 
Navy came to the assistance of the French. 
While engaged in this work, just inside the 
straits, the battleship Goliath was torpedoed 
and sunk by the Turkish destroyer, Muavenet- 
i-Millet, commanded by a German officer, on 
May 12. The chief trial of the French ships 
was to withstand the destructive howitzer fire 
of the enemy, and some naval guns were 
landed and placed in a concrete-protected 
battery on the beach, in the hope that a better- 
directed fire might be brought to bear upon the 
Turkish batteries in the opposite region of 
Erenkeui and In Tepe than was possible from 
the moving ships. 

After the disaster to the Goliath the ships 
were not allowed to remain within the Straits 
at night. The French vessels then anchored 
under Kum Kale, but it was found that 
drifting mines came in that direction, and 
they afterwards went to Mudros or Kep- 
halos. Neither of these anchorages was with- 
out disadvantages, which affected both the 
French and ourselves. Kephalos had no pro- 
tection from the north, and was swept by a 
high sea in northerly gales, while at Mudros 
the transhipments and disembarcations, due 
to want of pier and wharfage accommodation, 
were often seriously impeded by winds from 
the north or south. Leaving one or other of 
these anchorages very early in the morning, 
the French ships arrived off the Dardanelles 
at dawn to take up their positions. When it 
became known that one or more big German 
submarines had passed Gibraltar, the situation 
of the ships became more critical. While 
supporting the Anzac position on May 25 
the Triumph was torpedoed and sunk, and the 
Majestic suffered the same fate off Cape Helles 
two days later. 

The French ships were more fortunate. 
When under way they kept on irregular and zig- 
zag courses, thus countering the effects of the 
submarines. The auxiliary Carthage was, how- 

ever, sunk off Cape Helles on July 4. Great 
caution was exercised,; but when the troops 
were attacking the enemy's commanding 
positions, and naval help was required, it was 
provided. Once again the gallant Latouche- 
Treville was employed in the work under 
hostile fire, and threatened by the enemy's 
submarines. A destroyer circled round her, 
while a flotilla of destroyers and armed vessels, 
under a hail of fire, continued to engage the 
enemy closely. 

Thus did the French Navy assist and support 
the army in those times of the epic story of the 
Dardanelles in the disembarcation, the heroic 
struggle against the outnumbering foe, and the 
wonderful work of the withdrawal, which was 
directed by Rear-Admiral Le Bon. Vice- 
Admiral Nicol arrived to reinforce the squadron, 
and to assume the chief command. 

" To the very end," said Admiral Guopratte, 
when he said farewell to his old squadron, 
" brave officers and men expended themselves 
without counting their sacrifices, in circum- 
s'tances nearly always difficult and often under 
the fire of the enemy." It was a splendid 
story, though it ended in a cruel failure to 
achieve that which, if all the efforts had been 
co-ordinated for a sharp and rapid operation, 
might have proved a crowning success. 

We will now turn again to the Mediterranean 
situation, as it affected the French Navy and 
to the events in which it took part. That 
sea was a theatre of hostilities of paramount 
importance to the French. Its waters were 
traversed by French transports and supply 
ships from end to end and from side to side 
from the very beginning. It was vital to the 
Allies to exercise command of the sea there.. 
The fighting strength of the enemy was not 
confined to his warships. The big steamship 
lines of Germany were capable^ of furnishing 
numerous vessels, wliich would have been a 
constant danger to the Allies. 

Many of them were in neutral ports in the 
Mediterranean at the outbreak of war, and the 
Germans claimed the right to transform them 
into fighting ships on the high seas. Patrols 
were, therefore, immediately established, and 
kept a close watch on them in case they should 
leave neutral waters. This precaution was the 
more necessary because, in addition to the 
ships recognized as convertible into cruisers, 
events showed that among the apparently 
purely commercial ships then in the Mediterra- 



nean many wore concealing military stores of 
all kinds destined for German cruisers and those 
of the German allies. The watch was com- 
pletely effective, and of these auxiliary ships 
not one was able to fulfil its mission. At the 
same time some hundred of other ships found 
themselves blockaded in neutral ports where 
they had taken refuge. Thus, from the very 
first, enemy ships of war, auxiliary ships, and 
merchant ships were all condemned to inaction. 
The blockade in the Mediterranean was even 
more difficult than in the North Sea. The 
neutral flag was employed to cover enemy 
goods, and the possibility of transmitting 
commodities through Spain to Cartagena or 
other ports increased the difficulties of the 
work for the French Navy. The many penin- 
sulas and islands of the Mediterranean enabled 
non-continuous voyages to be made and 
circuitous mutes to be taken. The difficulties 
ucr,- increased liy the number of countries 
ining neutral, and n'-utral shippers showed 
great astuteness in their dealings, whereby a 
very difficult and delicate task u as imposed upon 
the Kreneh Nnvy. The resources of the French 
mercantile marine were not inexhaustible, 
and it was not without great difficulty that Un- 
necessary armcil patrols were Organized. For- 
tunately, the dillieiilties had been largely over- 
come by the time the i_'i-cat strain of the trans- 
port of tin- troops for the Dardanelles and 
Salonika began, but during the whole sub- 

sequent period the transport of troops and army 
stores was in progress. 

There is hardly space to recount here the 
many operations and activities of the French 
Navy in the Mediterranean. When, in 
February, 1915, the Turkish Army from Syria 
made its attempt upon the Suez Canal, the old 
French light cruiser D'Entrecasteaux brought 
her 9'4 in. guns into action, and the ancient 
ironclad Requin, which dated from 1885, and 
had been used as a gunnery training ship, 
smashed up some of the Turks' heavy artillery. 
Some French torpedo boats were employed in 
patrolling the Suez Canal, and the armoured 
cruiser Montcalm, fresh from the Far East, was 
at Suez and with British vessels patrolling the 
Ked Sea. In April the battleship Saint Louis 
and in May the cruiser D'Kstrees bombarded 
the Turkish positions at Kl Arish, and the 
Jeanne d'Arc and D'Kstn'-es destroyed petrol 
depots near the coast A French 
carrier was employed in these Kgyptiar 
operations, and several squadrons of naval 
aeroplanes were flying over the canal region. 
The Allied navies worked in the closest colla- 
boration, and often French airmen to p 
British officers as observers.* 

The French maintained a detached squadron 

in the Levant and off the Syrian coast, ready 

* A cornpli-Ii- arrnunt of tin- First " Invasion of 
i: i'l," with further details of the operations of the 
l-'n-rii'h warships, will be found in Vol. IV. , Chapter 


to check the enemy's communications along 
the littoral, to control suspicious shipping, 
hunt out submarine bases, and bombard 
enemy positions. The Allied navies co- 
operated in many operations oft the coast of 
Asia Minor and in the Aegean. The French 
mine-layer Casabianca was sunk at the 
entrance to the Aegean, June 3, 1915. A 
blockade extending from the Egyptian frontier 
to the island of Samos was declared. The 
Greek island of Castellorizo, off Cape Khelidonia, 
on the southern coast of Asia Minor, was 
occupied on December 29, 1915, as a base for 
the French operations. 

The French also occupied Corfu, not in a 
military sense, but to organize the place for 
the reception of the Serbian army, which was 
withdrawn from Albania. The landing was 
conducted in a masterly manner. The squadron 
of four cruisers arrived at Corfu on January 11, 
1916, at 2 a.m., and the disembarcation began 
immediately, the whole being completed by 
11 a.m. No transports were used, every man, 
gim, horse and mule and all the ammunition, 
stores and forage being conveyed in the four 
cruisers, which came, unexpectedly to the 
authorities of Corfu, without lights and escorted 
by destroyers. No horse slings were used, the 
animals being lowered in ordinary ships' boats 
vith the thwarts removed, and with straw and 
'li.-M-coal laid in the bottoms to prevent slipping. 

The naval commander-iii-chief in the Medi- 

terranean was Vice-Admiral Dartige du Kounirt, 
who had left the Levant command in October, 
1915, and directed many operations in the- 
Eastern Mediterranean, including the landing 
and charge of the Salonika expedition, the 
action taken by the Allies against Greece, and 
the blockade of that country, until Vice- 
Admiral Gauchet was appointed to succeeded 
him in December, 1916. 

The history of the Salonika expedition does 
not belong to this chapter. The British 10th 
Division, under command of Lieut.-Gencial 
Sir B. Mahon, which arrived early in October,. 
1915, had been preceded by the disembarcation 
of two French Divisions, commanded by General 
Sarrail, whose force was soon strengthened by 
the coming of a third Division. This great 
force, with all its guns, ammunition, horses, 
mules, camp equipment, and every requirement 
for active service, was under the charge of the 
naval forces commanded by Admiral du 
Fournet, and, as at the Dardanelles, the opera- 
tion of setting the army on the shore taxed the- 
power of organization and the skill and resource 
of the French naval officers to the highest 
possible degree. The task was ar complished 
with magnificent success, and the army, once- 
landed, had to be kept supplied with ammuni- 
tion and every requirement for its service over a 
long period. This continued to impose an 
enor.nous strain on the resources of the French 
mercantile marine and on the Navy, which 




responsible fur tin- nuiiiitcnance of its com- 

The incrertsini: menace of the submarine 
added to the anxieties of the Admiral and east 
a duty of sleepless vigilance on his officers and 
on the men of the patrol service. There were 
some disasters, as will subsequently be shown. 
The attitude assumed by the Greek Go%'ern- 
inent, threatening the security of the allied 
armies, soon imposed new duties on the sister 
navies under their French Commander-in-Chief. 

The forts at the entrance to Salonika harbour 

It was at this time that M. Venizelos, with 
Admirals Condouriotis and Miaulis, left tho 
I 'incus for Crete, where the Provisional Govern- 
ment wns proclaimed on the 28th. The 
developments were rapid, and on October 11 
Admiral du Fournet presented an ultimatum 
to the Greek Government, demanding, as a 
precautionary measure, in view of the security 
of the Allied fleet and army, the surrender to 
his control of the entire Greek fleet, with the 
exception of the armoured cruiser Georgios 
Averoff and the two old battleships, Kilkis 


were occupied by British and French troops and 
allied naval detachments at the end of Decem- 
ber, 1915, in order to control the operations 
of the enemy submarines, which had made 
Siilcinika their base. On April 9, 1910, the 
Allies announced their intention of occupy- 
ing the harbour of Argostoli and establishing 
bases in some of the Ionian islands 

Admiral du Fournet also made his dis- 
positions, in accordance with diplomatic in- 
structions, to exercise the necessary compulsion 
upon the Greek Government, and on September 
]. 1916, he arrived off the Piraeus with a large 
Allied fleet and took possession of the wireless 
telegraphic service of the Greek warships. 
An embargo was also placed on Greek shipping. 

and Lemnos, which had been bought for the 
United States. He also demanded the control 
of the Pineus-Larissa railway. The ultimatum 
was complied with under protest, and the fleet, 
consisting mainly of a dozen effective destroyers 
was handed over at Keratsini, and French sea- 
men were drafted into them, the French flag 
being hoisted. On the 16th the Admiral 
landed Allied detachments to proceed to Athens, 
and the arsenal, the submarine defences, and 
the munition depots on the islands of Leros 
and Cyra were taken under control Then 
followed the demand for the surrender of Greek 
guns and the landing of detachments from 
the Allied fleets, which were treacherously 
attacked with some loss in very serious fighting. 



A blockade of the Greek ports was afterwards 

The presence of numerous enemy sub- 
marines in the Mediterranean, especially from 
September, 1915, onwards, created a danger 
which increased to very serious proportions. 
Admiral du Fournet had a task before him of 
stupendous difficulty in organizing and pro- 
tecting the sea services of the armies on very 
long lines of communication. The transport 
Calvados was sunk, and among other vessels 
the Sidi-Ferruch, at Algiers, and the Yser, ex- 

when about 1,000 lives were lost out of 1,800 
on board. The vessel sank within 15 minutes 
of being struck by the torpedo. A sharp look- 
out had been kept, but nothing was seen to 
indicate the presence of the submarine, of 
which the identity was disclosed afterwards. 
The menace began to assume larger proportions. 
The British Navy lost the battleship Russell, 
claimed by the Germans to have been sunk by 
a submarine, and other smaller war vessels. 
On October 4 the British transport Franconia 
and the French transport Gallia were both 


Dacia, of the Hamburg-Amerika line, off 
Philippeville. French and British naval forces 
made a systematic search for submarine bases 
throughout the Aegean and the Levant, and 
parties landed at Corfu, Santi Quaranta, Zante, 
Phaleron, Corinth, and elsewhere. Admiral 
Lacaze was now Minister of Marine, and he 
wisely over-ruled the objection of his pre- 
decessors to the arming 6f merchantmen. 
The light cruiser Amiral Charner was tor- 
pedoed off the Syrian coast in February, 1916. 
On the 26th of the same month the French 
auxiliary cruiser Provence II., which was 
engaged in transporting troops and military 
stores to Salonika, was torpedoed in mid- 
Mediterranean by the German submarine U35, 

sunk by enemy submarines. In the British 
vessel only 12 of the crew were missing, but the 
Gallia was full of French and Serbian troops 
to the number of 2,000, and. about 600 were 
lost. One of the magazines blew up and thf 
win-less installation was destroyed, making it 
impossible to call for help. At about the same 
time the Germans claimed that one of their 
submarines had sunk a small French cruiser 
or submarine destroyer, named the Rigel, in 
the Mediterranean. This statement was sub- 
sequently denied inferentially by the French, 
when the Germans, in January, 1917. falsely 
claimed to have seriously damaged by sub- 
marine the French battleship Verite. The 
most serious loss of all was that of the early 




dreadnought Danton, which was struck by 
two torpedoes discharged by a submarine, 
and sank within half an hour. The disaster 
occurred on March 19, 1917, in the Mediter- 
ranean. The finest discipline prevailed on 
board, and 806 men were saved by the destroyer 
Massue and some patrol vessels, the number 
lost being 296. The submarine was discovered 
and attacked with bombs by the Massue, 
whereupon she disappeared and was not seen 
again. The battleship Suffren, which had 
taken so great a part at the Dardanelles, was 
lost in the previous November. She left 
( Jibraltar for Lorient, and was never seen again. 
Whether she struck a mine or was sunk by a 
submarine was not reported. 

The guarding of the sea route in the Eastern 
Mediterranean and the Ionian Sea afterwards 
fell mainly to the British Fleet, while the western 
basin from Malta to Oibraltar fell chiefly to the 
French. What special steps were taken hv 
the French navrj authorities wa.- not <li-cl,i-, d. 
but it became known that an extensive patrol 
service was at work, that the methods employed 
in the Channel and the North Sea \\ere applied 
in the Mediterranean. ; Miey could be 

n-'-d im<; that ncithiiiLr that prevision could 
aval officer* to do or provide 


The French Navy, allied with our own and 
with that of the .Japanese, bewail early in the 
WIT to exert its influence throughout the world. 
'1 he Seven Se ade .--ubject in part to 

French naval sway. The Naval Division of the 
Far East and the Pacific, which Rear- Admiral 
Huguet had commanded, was not, indeed, an 
organization of great fighting force. The 
Montcalm, which was the flagship, was nearly 
twenty-five years old, and on her displacement 
of 9,367 tons she carried two 7'(i in., eight li'-l in., 
and smaller guns. The only other vessel of any 
force was the Dupleix, which belonged to the 
same period, had a displacement of 7,.">78 tons, 
and, as her heaviest armament, mounted eight 
6'4 in. guns. The station of these vessels was 
the China Seas, and the Division had attached 
to it a destroyer, a gunboat and four river pun- 
boats. An old unprotected cruiser, the Kersaint, 
and the gunboat Xelee were usually in .Aus- 
tralian waters, but they were out of commission, 
and their perKoimrl and guns had been used to 
put New Caledonia and Tahiti in. a better 
position of defence. A dispatch vessel and two 
torpedo boats were at .Mai, and an old 
armoured gunboat, three destroyers, and about 
a do/en torpedo boats and several small vedette 
boats at Saigon. 

The conquest of the scattered colonies of 
(ierni.-iny was an object of the Allies at the 
beginning of the war. Tsing-tau fell to the 
prowe:-> of the Japanese. The < Jennan posses- 
sions in the I'acilic gave their opportunity to 
the young Navy of Australia, to whose help 
came the Montcalm. The squadron of Count 
Spec was at large, its whereabouts were un- 
known, and the capt ure of the Laclrones and the 
Marshall' Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago j 



<!rrmau New Guinea and Samoa \\as attended 
with uncertainty. The Australian squadron \vas 
directed to proceed to New Zealand to convov 
an expeditionary force, which was to capture 
S.iinoa, and the l-Yench cruiser joined the flag 
for that purpose, her presence adding to the 
confidence with which the operation was under- 
taken. The achievement involved a sea voyage 
of over 2,000 mile.s, and was accomplished with- 
out mishap or interference. The German: made 
no resistance at Samoa, and when von Spec 
arrived off Apia, on September 14, 1914, he was 
surprised to find the British flag flying there, 

From Samoa the German squadron steamed 
to Tahiti, and in the little port of Papeete found 
the disarmed gunboat Zelee, which was des- 
troyed by gunfire, as well as some of the 
buildings there. But the Commander of the 
vessel, Lieut. Destremeau, had placed the guns 
he had dismounted in an excellent position, 
and the German Admiral thought it prudent 
not to linger more, especially as the coal depot 
at Fare Use had been set on fire by the defenders 
and no coal was obtainable. Any serious 
resistance of the Germans in their Pacific 
possessions was impossible, and they were 
.speedily reduced one after another. 

When the adventurous cruise of the Emden 
brought her disguised to Penang on October 28. 
she entered the harbour there, and by torpedo 
and gunfire sank the Russian cruiser Jemtchug, 

which was surprised at anchor. A Krepch de- 
stroyer the .Mousquet, < 'oninmnder Thcroinne, 
attacked her as she went out with the utmost 
dash and gallantry, but the. fight was unequal, 
and the destroyer was sunk, her Commanding 
officer, win i had been wounded, going down it h 
her. The survivors, to the number of 36, were 
sent by Captain von M filler in a captured 
i'ritish vessel into a port in Sumatra. 

The Montealm, after her service against the 
German Pacific possessions, went north and was 
employed in patrolling in the Indian Ocean, 
thus aiding in securing the safety of the 
numerous transports which were then bringing 
troops, guns and stores from India and other 
Eastern countries. Afterwards the cruiser 
continued this valuable service in the Bed Sea, 
where the cruiser Desaix was also employed. latter vessel at Hodiedah compelled the 
Turks to surrender the French Consul, who had 
been taken into the interior, but was brought in 
safety to Sue/. 

In previous chapters the story of the reduction 
of- the German colonies of Togo and Cameroon 
has been told.* The French Navy took its due 
share in the operations in the Gulf of Guinea, 
as French troops did on land. The most 
important unit in the Naval Division was the 
old armoured cruiser Bruix, flying the broad 
pennant of the officer in command, who had 
* Vol. VIII., Chapter CXXXI. 





with him the gunboat Surprise and a number of 
smaller shallow-draught vessels. Other cruisers 
afterwards joined him. The Bruix and Surprise 
shelled the coast positions of Compo and 
Kribili, on October 11-14, 1914, and on August 
24, 1914, the Surprise supported the disembarca- 
tion of the French column and attacked the 
German station of Cocoa Beach at the mouth 
of the Muni River. The Germans were driven 
into the interior after a sharp engagement and 
the Surprise sank the steamers Rhios and 
Italo. The Allies captured a fleet of German 
vi"ixi>l in the Cameroon River, belonging 
mainly to the Woermann Line Clive, Irma, 
Henrietta, Jeanette, Paul Woermann, and 
others. All the important points on the coast 
were bombarded, and the Bruix, Pothuau 

and Friant took part in the blockade of the 

In the Atlantic the French Navy had a share 
in the rounding up of the German cruisers and 
the guarding of the trade routes. On this 
service the armoured cruiser Conde and the 
light cruiser Descartes were employed in the 
Caribbean, and when the German raiding 
cruisers had disappeared the watch was for a 
time continued in view of the large number of 
German liners and merchant vessels which had 
taken refuge in American ports and might 
have attempted to escape. 

\Ve have gone with the French Xavy, in its 
work in the war, round the world, from the 
Adriatic and the Mediterranean, to the Pacific 




and the Atlantic, and now we " fetch up," as 
they say in the Navy, in the North Sea arid the 
English Channel. The courage and endurance 
of French seamen in the operations in the 
North Sea cannot, however, be described here. 
M. Bertin, the eminent naval architect, and 
formerly chief constructor of the French Navy, 
said that in the North of Scotland French 
bluejackets participated in the maintenance of 
the blockade. "It is a rough and dangerous 
service. Naval literature which has celebrated 
the vigilance of our cruising in the Adriatic, the 
bearing under fire of our ships at the Darda- 

the enemy. During the transportation of the 
British Expeditionary Force to France, when 
British destroyers and submarines took posi- 
tions from which they could have attacked the 
German High Sea Fleet, the French Second 
Light Squadron cooperated in the protection 
of the passage and disembarcation of the 
troops. During the critical days of the fighting 
on the Yser, when the French Fusiliers Marins 
were rendering on land magnificent service, 
which neither England nor France should ever 
forget, Vice-Admiral C. E. Favereau, Command- 
ing-in-Chief the French forces in the Channel. 


nelles, and the exploits of our battalions of 
fusiliers at Dixmude, has not yet made known 
the endurance of those who labour without 
resting in an inclement sea and in the mists of 
the North. These last, without doubt, will 
have their history later." * 

At the first moment of French naval activity 
in the Channel, when Rear-Admiral Rouyer, 
commanding the light squadron at Brest, set 
forth to execute his orders " Appareillez 
immediatement et empechez par les annes le 
passage du Pas de Calais " which have been 
alluded to above, the torpedo boats and sub- 
marines all proceeded to their appointed 
stations to watch for the anticipated coming of 
* La Nature, February 10, 1917. 

placed under the orders of the late Rear- 
Admiral the Hon. Horace Hood, then in com- 
mand of the Dover Patrol, five French de- 
stroyers, and the British Admifal, flying his 
flag in the Intrepide, led the French flotilla into 
action off Lombartzyde. These boats were the 
Francis Gamier, Capitaine Mehl, Dunois, 
Aventurier, and the flag vessel, and were of 
modern and powerful character. The fire of 
the Francis Gamier, with her 4-inch guns, 
silenced the enemy batteries at Lombartzyde 
and Westende, and enabled the Belgians to 
resume the offensive. During all these opera- 
tions French and British squadrons, cruising off 
Nieuport, continued to support the extreme 
left of the allied armies by shelling the German 

Till-: TIMES HISTORY OF Till-: MM/,'. 

batteries, and at tin- same time they assi-tcd 
in guarding 111.' uneeasini.' pa -sage nl' transport- 
and the floating commerce of the Allies in the 
Chiinnel mill in nil the approaches to the French 
ports, where Ccrnian submarines \\ere at work. 
the torpedoing of the refugee ship Ainirul 
(ianteaiimc. the Ville de Lille and many other 
incidents testitied. French cruisers mid con-t 
defence flotillas were constantly engaged in 
patrolling and in chasing (iernian submarines. 
On .March 4, HI 15. one of the cruisers made 
three hits on a submarine, which disappeared 
and loft no trace. The light squadrons cruised 

November, 101.'), Lieutenant de Sine iv. accom- 
panied by the British Sub-Lieutenant Viney. 
destroyed a Herman .-nlini U'ine by bombs on 
the Belgian coast. A great raid to >k [)lace in 
.March, lillti, when 1!) French naval aeroplanes, 
in coopi'ral ion \vith about 'M British anil 
Belgian machines. bomba.rded (!]> (iernian 
seaplane station at /eebruggo and the aero- 
drome at Houttave in the vicinity. In tin- 
following June it was otlieially announced that 
during a reconnaissance in Belgium three 
l-'reni-h anned aeroplanes discharged (i'l shell, 
on (iernian boats near the coast. 


with British naval forces which cooperated with 
the land armies until the tide of battle rolled 
back from the -tricken region of the coast. 

When XeebrugL'e developed into a ( i en nan 
-ubinarine base, defended b\ heavy guns, the 
i-'reneh Navy continued to cooperate with our 
oun in per-i-tcni endeavour to root out tliis 
wiw-p ,,il to eliminate the pests which 

had their home there. A French aviation 
station \v -hed at Dunkirk in .Immary. 

I'.'l "i. and eii.rly in the \\<-\\ i tli l-'n-nch n:-\ .-. I 

airmen from thai place bon.b.-d the u,ilitar\ 
I'-tabli-hinenls and barracks at Xc-ebrugge and 
Bruges and the railuay station at Ostcnd. In 
this raid 48 allied machines participated. J n 

These were indications of the activity dis 
pla\ed by the French Xavy in the Channel 
and its approaches. Many other incidents 
showed the enterprise displayed by French 
seamen and naval airmen, and eompl.-te com- 
mand \\a- obtained by the French Xavy. in 
cooperation \\ith our own. in the waters of 
the Channel and its approa</l>_es ro;n the CCCan. 

If the greatest >orvice rendered by the French 
Navy to the Allies had been in assisting to 
maintain command of the seas, in transporting 
troopg to several theatres of war. which that 
command enabled it to do, and in securing the 
safety of their communications and their 



supplies, it has written no more brilliant page 
in the Livre d'Or than that which tells the talc 
(if the glorious and ever memorable deeds of 
the Naval Brigade which fought at Dixmude 
and on the Yser. A full account of the German 
counter-offensive and of the Battle of the Yser 
has already been given, and the course of the 
iterations will not therefore be related here.* 


The significance of that battle was enormous 
for the issue of the war and the future of 
British Sea Power. It definitely beat back 
the Germans from Calais, and put an end to 
their dream of bombarding Dover and, with 
irun and submarine, of cutting our communica- 
tions between the North Sea and the 'English 
Channel. AY ell might Joffre describe this as 
" the greatest battle of the world." A French 
song written and sung in the French trenches 
in Belgium, to the air of " Aupres de ma blonde,'' 
sets the splendid achievement of the French 
Fusiliers Marins in the clearest manner in its 
first verse : 

Sur Irs hords do 1'Ysor 

Les marins ont tenu 

Les AHemands en arriere, 

Si him f|u'ils n'ont pu 

Truverser la riviere 

Comme ils 1'avaient convenu.f 

\Ve cannot feel too deeply the gratitude we 
owe to the French Naval Brigade, and to the 
gallant Belgians, supported by the French, 
for the services rendered in that critical and 
vital period of the war. 

At this point it is interesting to summarize 

* See Chapters LIV. and LXV. 

t Thi son;.' is preserved by Commandant Vedfl, " Xos 
Marins a la Ourrre." 

the facts contained in an official communique 
issued by the Ministry of Marine on October 
31, 1914, setting forth the nature of the help 
which the Navy had rendered to the French 
land forces. Not only had it cooperated with 
the Allied Fleets in the blockade of the enemy 
ports and coasts, in the protection of convoys, 
the guarding of the trade routes, and the pursuit 
of the German cruisers : it had lent to the army 
every material and personal assistance that it 
had at its disposal. Its arsenals and establish- 
ments worked with the greatest activity for the 
War Department. The Navy had taken charge 
of a great part of the coast defences, thus 
liberating a considerable number of men to the 
heavy artillery. Moreover, with the remainder 
of the men it could spare from its own needs it 
had constituted forces which fought in the first 
rank in the front with the armies. These forma- 
tions, at the date given, comprised a brigade 
of 6,000 fusiliers marins, a machine-gun company, 
a regiment of 2,000 seamen-gunners, groups of 
motor machine-guns, and a group of motor 
searchlights, as well as a river flotilla for the 
S ine. 

The brigade of the Naval Fusiliers and the 

l-'rt'tu'h official photograph. 


machine-gun company distinguished themselves 
greatly by their heroic attitude at Dixnnuie 
011 the right wing of the Belgian Army. They 
had already served with the Army before Paris. 
The regiment of seamen-gunners, with tin ir 
own guns, had contributed to the successful 
defence of the fortified region on the east. 
The motor-guns had been distributed with the 


army, and had given proof of great activity 
and etliciency. These various formations were 
supplied from a depot which wiis established 
at Paris. In addition the Navy sent to the 
regimental depots several thousands of seamen, 
and it subsequently placed at the disposal of the 

{French official photrgrjpli. 

Who took part in the defence of Dixmude. 

army all the men of the Inscription Maritime 
who were not required for the Fleet, and were 
not indispensable to the mercantile marine. 
All this great service was completed by the 
placing at the disposal of the Minister of War 
of a part of the personnel of the naval aviation 
service, as well as many engineers and officers 
of various corps, and large numbers of artificers. 
Quite early in the war a total number of 30,000 
naval reservists and men of the Inscription 
Maritime were given up to the War Department, 
and embodied in the Colonial Infantry, where 
they rendered notable services with all the dash 
of the seaman. There was one bluejacket 
whose deed was recorded by the Moniteiir />< 
In l-'lnitf. He had remained with his motor 
machine-gun und an assistant in a town which 
tin- Germans had occupied, and there, with the 

greatest i Iness. hi- fdiight several little battles 

at the crossings of streets, ami escaped from the 
place in safety with his gun and the man who 
accompanied him. Some of the machine- 
gunners were used in the defence of Paris, and 
es| M -cinlly in the anti-aircraft service, while 
many of the seamen-gunners were sent to serve 

the guns in the forts of the entrenched camp 
of Paris, while others were dispatched to the 
defences of the Meuse. 

Parisians were accustomed to meet seamen 
who were employed as messengers or otherwise 
at the Ministry of Marine in the Rue Royale, 
but they were astonished, in the very early days 
of the war, to see numbers of men of the Fleet 
doing duty in the streets of the capital. Some 
wen> old salts, reservists, stokers, and artificers, 
who donned their old uniforms, and others were 
young bluejackets from the ports, j list embodied 
in the new contingents. All these classes of 
men soon took on, under training, something 
of the ordered smartness of the soldier without 
ever losing their naval character. Those who 
remembered 1870 bethought themselves of 
Le Bourget, where the Fusiliers Marins en- 
countered and threw back the Prussian Guard, 
and of other incidents in which the Navy in 
those times came to the help of the land force-. 
The Fusiliers Marins of the great war began to 
arrive from the ports, and their depot and head- 
quarters were located in the Grand Palai.- in 
the Champs Elysees. By the end of August. 
1914. the Brigade, consisting of two regiment-. 
was brought up to its strength of 6,000 men. 
afterwards augmented, and Rear-Admiral Ron- 
erc'h was placed in command. The great advance 
of von Kluck threatened Paris, and the Fusiliers 
were sent out, not to the front line, for they still 
required training, but to dig trenches, which 
they manned. One company did encounter 
the enemy in the vicinity of Creil a party of 
raiding Uhlans, who were driven off. When the 
armies of von Kluck were diverted to the east- 
ward, to encount er di 'feat on the Marne, the Naval 
Brigade came into its quarters, and the work of 
organization and training began. The men 
were badly and variously equipped. Some of 
them had never fired a rifle. There were not 
many good drivers among them, and their 
transport was composed of old vehicles gathered 
from many quarters. But Admiral Ronarc'li 
was a man of extraordinary energy and organizing 
power, and had with him as company commanders 
a numljer of energetic and capable naval lieu- 
tenants. Commandant Vedel has given a pen- 
picture of him, written by one of his lieutenants : 
" Of middle height, -.veil set-up ; an energetic 
head set on a sturdy, muscular trunk ; active 
and resolute ; a Breton in the accepted sense of 
the description, including the legendary dogged 
obstinacy ; exacting from others that which 
he was ready to give himself, but thinking more 



of their hardships than of his own ; recalling 
the saying, eternally true, that the fighting man 
has his value in his character." 

The Rear-Admiral's marines were sent to 
Dunkirk, where a force intended for the defence 
of Antwerp was being concentrated, but the 
German offensive had developed with great 
rapidity, the enemy's big howitzers had 
destroyed the Belgian fortresses and the 
Belgian Army was in retreat. It was a critical 
and even decisive moment of the war, for 
Calais was at stake. The seamen were therefore 
hastened forward to Ghent, where they encoun- 
tered the German onslaught (October 9). 
Lieutenant Le Douget was one of the first of 
their number to be killed. The immediate 
object of enabling the hard-pressed Belgians 
to retire with their guns was attained, and the 
whole force fell back. The Belgians retreated 
to Bruges, and from Bruges to the Yser. 
British troops which had been landed had come 
into line, and they marched by Roulers to 
Ypres, while the French seamen retired through 
Thourout, where they came under the direct 
command of the King of the Belgians (October 
i:>), and by way of Werken and Eessen to 
Dixmude, which place was the centre and key 
of the position. There the brave fellows were 
to stand fast, coute que coute, for four days 

at least, after which reinforcements were 
expected to arrive. The position had not been 
prepared, the naval brigade of 6,000 men, with 
its macliine-gun companies, covered a front of 
4 miles, the Belgian guns which were attached 
to it were altogether powerless against the big 
German guns, and there were no aeroplanes or 
balloons to bring intelligence to Admiral 
Ronarc'h. Not for four days only, but for 
twenty-six days did the tremendous struggle 
continue, and the long fight in the inferno of 
Dixmude, in which the heroic seamen rivalled 
the achievements of the legendary Paladins, 
losing terribly, but still undaunted, gave im- 
perishable renown to the personnel of the 
French Navy. 

On November 16 a territorial division came 
to the relief of Admiral Ronarc'h, and his 
splendid brigade retired, but only to reorganize 
and prepare itself for further service against 
the enemy, still in the stricken land of 
Belgium, where it had the intense satisfaction 
of meeting and defeating a force of German 

The glorious valour of the seamen had 
merited well of the country, and M. Augagneur, 
then Minister of Marine, decided that thence- 
forth the sailors ashore should carry colours, as 
did the army, bearing the inscription " R6gi- 

General Lyautey decorating Marines from Dixmude. 


Tin-: v 7. \ //;> III+TOHY or TIII-: in//. 

incuts <li- Marins." Tlii- Minister would appoint 

out- unit of tin- Niivul Brigade to keep the colours 

during wiir. which in time of peace would be 
contided to thf care of I lie s.-liool of the Fusiliers 
Mantis at 1. orient. The colours were presented 
to the Naval Brigade at Dunkirk on January 11. 
I'.tl"). liy the President of the French Republic. 
M. I 'oil ican'- told them that th-- flag which was 
i-iven to them they hud themselves won oil the 
field of battle. They had shown themselves 
worthy to receive it, and capable of defending 
it. For long weeks, closely associated with 
their comrades of the nrmy, they had sustained 
victoriously the most hitter mid sanguinary 
struggle. Nothing had chilled their ardour, 
neither the difficulties of the terrain, nor the 
ravages which, at first, were made in their 
ranks by the enemy's fire. Nothing had 
checked their flan, not ice, nor rain, nor floods. 
Their officers had given them an example of 
courage and sacrifice, and everywhere, under 
their orders, they had achieved prodigies of 
heroism and abnegation. 

Tho flag which I confide to you shall represent hence- 
forth in your eyes immortal France : France that is to 
say. your homes, the places where you were born, the 

parent* who lirmiidit you up. \our \vi\c-. your children. 
your families unit your friend-. ;ill your mcmoric-. .i'l 
your interests, all your atfeetious ; France that is to 
I whole past of common et't'-.rt - 'Ui'l col leet I \ e jlor\. 
.L \\liole future of nnlionnl unity, of ercatness and ot 
lilM-rty. My friends, they H:V tin- mosi distant ili'stinir- 
of <mr ( (unit r\ ami of himuuiit \- wliic!) arc liriui 1 iu^cri !<!. 
at this miimrnt. iu tin- Hook of (iolcl of the Kri-lu-h Army. 
Our race, our civilization, our iiloils are the Micr-'l is^u-- 
of the liattlo \tni \\a.^c. Vrt a few months of patictM'. . 
of mural strength ami of eni'ri_'y "'ill t'otc'riiiine th 
I'our^c of tulufi- cent iii-ic-. In r;ii-ryini; this banner to 
victory, you will not only avcn^r the ilcatl ; you will 
to. Tit the admiration of thf world imd the gratitude ot 

In the semi-official Moiiitrnr de l<t 
M. Charles Le Goffic, writing oil Aucust ~>. 
1915, spoke in noble words of the deeds of the 
French seamen. For more than twelve cen- 
turies, he said, the horn of Roland had been 
silent, but they still showed near llagueta the 
" breche de Roland," the cleft made in the 
mountains by his virgin sword Durandal. 
Roland, he said, lives always in French heait< 
Roland, a Breton, like most of the seamen of 
France. " Is it too much to think that Dix- 
mude will last as long as Roncesvalles V Of this 
I am sure, that Roland would recognize his 
own among the fighting men of the Yser. Vou 






Delong to the same cycle : you are of the same 
epic family a race of heroes who do not know 
how to surrender, and who are found in all 
history at Roncesvalles with Roland, in the 
last square at Waterloo with Cambronne, 
under the smoking ruins of Dixmude with 
A'lmiral Ronarc'h." 

The original strength of the Naval Brigade, 
including 250 men with the machine-guns, 
was 6,250, and by March 1, 1915, 3,470 men had 
joined them to reinforce their depleted ranks. 
Of the latter number, about 500 were wounded 
men who returned to the front, from which it 
appears that the total number of the Fusiliers 
Marins sent to the Belgian front actually 
approximated to 9,200 men. The casualties 
amounted to something like one-half of this 
figure, and the General Commanding the group 
of armies of the North said that no 
elite troops in any age had done what the 
Marines had achieved in bravery and long 

When the greater part of the Naval Brigade 
left the zone of the armies, in November, 1915, 
General Joffre expressed his gratitijde for the 
noble service rendered in the plains of the Yser, 
at Nieuport and at Dixmude, which, he said, 
would remain to the armies as an example of 
warlike ardour, of the spirit of sacrifice, and of 
devotion to the country. " Les Fusiliers Marins 
et leurs Chefs peuvent etre fiers des nouvelles 

pages qu'ils ont ecrites au Livre de leur corps.'" 
Admiral Lacaze, then Minister of Marine, on 
December 12, 1915, brought General Joffre's 
order to the knowledge of those for whom it was 
intended, and added an expression of gratitude 
of the whole Navy to those at the front who- 
had come to be known as " La Garde." These 

General of the Fusiliers Merinp. 

two orders were authorized to be posted in the 
batteries of French warships, and in the depart- 
ments in the dockyards under the naval device : 
" Honneur et Patrie " there to remain per- 



AFTER THE PRESENTATION. (See illustration on pa^e 73.) 

manently, said the Minister, " pour que les 
equipages de demain sachent ce qu'ils auront a 
faire pour se montrer dignes des Marins de 
Dixmude et de 1'Yser." 

Not a word that was said by the eminent 
Frenchmen exceeded the merits of the brave, 
indefatigable and undaunted Naval Brigade. 
Not often does it fall to the men of the sea to 
be so acclaimed. The silent work of the French 
Navy, its long watches in all seasons and all 
weathers, its courage, fortitude and self- 
sacrifice whenever it encountered the perils of 
the sea or the assaults of the enemy, were every 
whit as meritorious as the services of the sea- 
men on shore, but the personal bravery of men 

is more easily observed on land than are the 
supreme characteristics and qualities and the 
heroic actions and long endurance of the men 
who go down in ships to the sea. The seaman 
has not always received his just reward nor been 
esteemed at his true value. When the battle- 
ship I,anguedoc was launched at Bordeaux, 
on April 29, 1915. M. Augagneur, then Minister 
of Marine, rightly expressed the gratitude of 
France to the French Navy, but said truly that 
its work, because it was silent, was not always 
judged at its real worth. " II a fallu le canon 
des Dardanelles pour satisfaire 1'opinion 
publique, disposee a croire a 1'inaction quand 
1'action ne lui apparait pas sous 1'aspect des 




AT the beginning of March, 1916, when 
General Smuts opened his campaign 
in East Africa, the Germans, after 
nineteen months of warfare, still held, 
with one or two trifling exceptions, the whole 
of their protectorate as well as the Taveta 
district on the British side of the frontier in the 
Kilimanjaro region. By the end of the 
September following the enemy had lost all 
the northern half of the protectorate, as well 
as the southern seaboard and the western and 
south-western borderlands (adjoining the Great 
Lakes). Every town of any importance in 
German East Africa, as well as both the 
railway systems, had passed into the possession 
of the British or Belgians. The Germans had 
also suffered very heavy losses in men and 
munitions. But Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck, the 
commander-in-chief, had avoided a decisive 
engagement, and still had a considerable, well- 
disciplined force. In October, 1916, he wns 
established in and north of the valley of the 
vol. XII Part 1 Mi. 

Hufiji river south of Dar-es-Salaam while 
t ierman detachments held the Mahenge plateau 
in the south central part of the country. 

Three distinct bodies of troops were engaged 
against the Germans : ( 1 ) the East African Force 
under Gen. Snrnts, which attacked the main 
(icrnian army from the north. (2) the Belgian 
Expeditionary Force, under (Jen. Tombeur, 
which invaded Gorman territory on the north- 
west, between Lake Tanganyika <ind Victoria 
Nyanza; and (3) the Rhodesia-NyftBaland Force, 
under Brig. -Gen. Xorthey, whieh advanced into 
German territory from the south-west, between 
I /ikes Tanganyika and Nyasa. In addition, 
Portuguese troop.-! \\cre engaged along the 
southern border of German lOast Africa, while 
(Sen. Smuts received very effective help from 
the Royal Navy. 

Neither the Belgians nor (Jen. Xortliey 
invaded German Kast Africa until after the 
close of the first, of Gen. Smuts' s cam- 
paign, and not until 19Hi was more than h.ilf 



over (lid thrir advance directly affect t lie- 
course of the main operation*. This will be 
rcmlily appreciated \vhcn the vtvst si/.e of and 
the dillieiilties of tnvnsport in the German 
protectorate are reinemhered. The places 
whence Cent-nils Smuts and Northey n-spec- 
tiveK invaded Ccrnuvii East Africa were 550 
miles apart in a direct line, while the Belgian 
Imse was some 800 miles from either of the 
British liases. It was a real achievement in 


General Smuts in Foreground. 

organization which enabled the various ex- 
I>editionary forces to co-operate. This they 
did as the operations went on, but at the 
outset Gen. Smuts, as has been indicated, was 
working independently. His first undertaking 
was the conquest of the Kilimanjaro and Meru 
region. This was a task limited in scope and 
complete in itself, and did not necessarily 
commit Gen. Smuts to one particular plan in 
his further operations. 

The situation at the opening of 1917 was 
set forth in Chapter CLV. (Vol. X.), where 
-also the events of 1914-16 are recorded. The 
position as it affected the offensive under- 
taken by (Jen. Smuts may be briefly recalled. 
Major-Cen. Sir Michael Tighe.* who then 
commanded the forces in Hritish Kast Africa, 
had already been reinforced by the 2nd South 
African Infantry Brigade, which he kept as a 
separate unit. He had formed his original 
coii'iiiand into two divisions the 1st E. A. 
Divi-ion under Major-Gen. J. M. Stewart, and 

* Ci' TIL-IK' was made a K.C.M.G. in recognition 
of hits services in East Africa. 

the 2nd E. A. Division under Brig-Gen. 
Mallesoii. These divisions included the 2nd 
Batt. Loyal North Lancashire Regt., the 25th 
Unit. Koyal Fusiliers (Legion of Frontiersmen), 
the 2nd Rhodesia Kegt., the East Africa 
Mounted Rifles and other volunteer bodies 
raised from the European settlers in, and 
the natives of, British Kast Africa; batta- 
lions of the King's African Rifles (almost 
all natives of East Africa, but including 
Sudanese), and various battalions of the 
Indian Army and Indian Imperial Service 
troops. Gen. Tighe had, moreover, drawn up 
a plan for the conquest of Kilimanjaro, a 
plan to which, with slight modifications, 
(leu. Smuts adhered. 

Before describing the conquest of Kilimanjaro 
an indication of internal conditions in the 
( I crman protectorate will prove helpful. As the 
narrative given in Chapter CLV. has shown, 
Col. vpn Lettow-Yorbeck was a very capable 
soldier. He was a man of great determina ion. 
he exercised immense influence over his 
officers and he was the inspiring spirit of tin- 
defence. It was rumoured that he had served 
on the Boer side in the South African War ; 
he had commanded in Cameroon and had 
personal knowledge of bush-fighting. He had 
organized and drilled a large native force, and 
he had impressed nearly all the Germans of 
military age in the country.* He had, to a 
large extent, effaced the bad effect of the 
ani-Moslem movement initiated by the 
Governor, Dr. Schnee, before the outbreak of 
the war and he had rallied to his standard 
many of the Arabs. This support wa-s obtained 
partly by statements which the Arabs inter- 
preted as a promise to restore the slave trade 
should the Germans prove successful. The 
belief in the restoration of the slave trade 
accounted for the sympathy with Germany 
shown by some of the Xan/.ibar Arabs, who 
found means of conveying valuable information 
to Dar-cs. Salaam, especially before the estab- 
lishment of the blockade of the coast on 
February 28, 1915. (After the conquest of 
Kilimanjaro many Arabs,, disillusioned, gave 
ii|i the German cause. Others had never 
embraced it and several leading Arab mer- 
chants suffered from German rapacity.) At 
first there was a party among the Germans in 

* Ships' crews, shop assistants, professional men, all 
and sundry, were called to the colours. Of three 
Germans captured in a skirmish one was an estate 
manager, one a lawyer, and the third a railway guard. 



Commander-in-Chief, East African Expeditionary Force. 

East Africa averse from a fight to a finish 
with the British. This party is credited with 
having had the sympathy if not the support of 
the Governor, whose wife was a New Zealand 
lady. Its members included many of the 
planters, and its idea was to make terms wit li 
the British on the lines afterwards accepted 
by the Germans in South-West Africa 

namely, that all farmers, planters, traders, 
merchants and missionaries should be allowed 
to carry on their avocations undisturbed. 
Whatever chance this party might have had 
of obtaining a hearing vanished with the total 
defeat of the attempt of the British to seize 
Tanga in November, 1914. Thereafter von 
Lettow-Vorbeck was master of the situation. 



Mi-sides liis military measures he adopted all 
the usual German methods ~-f procedure to 
mislead liis public. Thus heliet that Britain 
had lost India was so widespread that tin- 
governor of Mafia Island, on his surrender, 
was astounded when told that he would be 
deported to India. He appeared to be con- 
vinced that " the Pathans " had by then 
(January, 1915) conquered that country. Again, 
when Italy joined in the war, it was announced 
at some of the Government stations that she had 
joined Germany ; the Italian flag was hoisted 

scattered over German East Africa, were not 
interned, but all their goods which the Govern- 
ment desired were forcibly requisitioned, and 
payment made in valueless paper money. 
Their trade with the natives was also largely 
cut off and many of them were ruined. Swahili 
and Arab merchants likewise suffered from 
(Jernmn extortions. 

Towards the natives the attitude of the 
German authorities was " utilitarian." It was 
governed by what Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck 
considered military necessities. The adherents 

Native troops on parade. 

side by side with the German and Moslem 
flags and some Italian residents were even 
induced to join the German ranks. Hatred 
of the British was. not general among the 
German civilians in East Africa, but was 
exhibited by the officials, especially in their 
t n--it incut of the missionaries women as well 
as men. Nearly all European enemy aliens, 
travellers, traders, missionaries and planters, 
with their wives and children, were placed in 
concentration camps, where the accommodation 
and food were alike bad. Special indignities 
were indicted upon the members of the Church 
Missionary Society, both by the Germans and 
their native soldiers, with the avowed object of 
lowering the prestige of the English in the eyes 
of the natives. The British Indians, of whom 
several thousands, mostly shopkeepers, were 

of the British missions were, without any 
proof, regarded as hostile, and their leaders, 
clergy, teachers and others, were deported to a 
native internment camp, where their treatment 
was extremely brutal. Natives living near tb.3 
frontier were removed to the centre of the 
country and treated as prisoners of war on the 
supposition (well founded) that they would 
welcome and aid the British invaders. In this 
manner large areas were depopulated and 
tribal life completely broken. But the chief 
value of the natives in German eyes was as 
soldiers or carriers. The number of natives 
forcibly enrolled in the Army is put as high as 
50,000 ; the manner in which their enrolment 
and the requisitioning of natives for transport 
work women as well as men was carried 
out practically reduced the country to a state of 



slavery. After enrolment, the nsknri (as the 
native soldiers are called*) were well treated. 
Care was taken to draw them from the most 
warlike tribes. The carriers, regarded simply as 
beasts of burden, though they were sometime? 
used as a screen for the troops, received no con- 
sideration from their masters. " When on the 
inarch if a porter could not be forced any longer 
to carry his load on account of weakness, 
through sickness or from hunger or thirst, and 
was therefore no longer of any use to them, lie 1 
was shot or bayoneted, and his body left by the 
roadside a striking reversion to old Arab 
slavery methods."')' Evidence of the appalling 
cruelty with which these carriers were treated 
was obtained by the British during the cam- 
paign. The Moslems among the natives, a 
very small community the East African 
" Arab," though three-quarters negro, is never 
reckoned a native received consideration, nor 
was theraany special ill-treatment of the people 
apart from that inflicted by "military exigen- 
cies." There was among them much dis- 
content, but the success of German arms up to 
March, 1916, and the high state of discipline 
to which the askari had been brought prevented 
any rising, though in the north-western part of 
the protectorate, where the tribes had never 
been completely subdued, several chiefs and 
their followers joined the Belgians as soon as 
they entered the country. 

In several respects the arrangements made 
either by Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck or by the 
Governor were admirable. The civil adminis- 
tration was carried on by Dr. Schnee from 
Mrogoro,| but every consideration was sub- 
ordinated to military necessities. Though cut 
off by the British blockade from outside sup- 
plies, the Germans for a long while lacked 
little a shortage of clothing was first apparent. 
Supplies of European foods of all kinds and in 
large quantities had just been imported when 
war broke out. This had been done, such was 
the official explanation, . for the benefit of the 
thousands of visitors who were expected to 
attend the exhibition at Dar-es-Salaam, which 

* From the Arabic aakar army ; (/ Persian lasfikar 
army, whence the word lascar, applied first by Euro- 
peans to men in military service. 

t From an article in the African Society's Journal 
for April, 1917, by the Rev. J. H. Brigs;s, of the C.M.S. 
Mr. Bri^s \vos one of the missionaries interned in 
German East Africa, and his account of conditions in 
that country has been drawn upon in this chapter. 

J Hero a daily newspaper was published. It dwindled 
down by Sept., 1916, to a single sheet, filled mainly 
with official and obituary notices and tobacconists' 

was to have been opened on August 12. I!>1 I. 
Apparently also arms and munitions were 
imported for the same purposes, and two 
aeroplanes were brought over specially to 
impress the natives. It happened, too, that in 
1914 in most districts the natives had supplies 
of corn in hand, and the cattle disease had been 
stamped out. Both corn and cattle were 
" requisitioned " for the needs of the askuri. 


Food depots were established by Col. von 
Lettow-Vorbeck all over the protectorate, and 
the native chief of each district was compelled 
to deliver c.orn to the depots. The carriers he 
had to obtain were vinder military discipline 
and were often chained together to prevent 
their escape. For the benefit of the white 
population all European food supplies in the 
stores of the traders were likewise requisitioned, 
and the country itself furnished plenty of milk, 
butter and eggs. The lack of sugar was largely 
compensated for by the abundance of wild 
honey bees are exceedingly numerous in 
East Africa. Articles they could not import 
the Germans endeavoured to manufacture, 
and with considerable success. Spirits (ben- 
/.inc. whisky and brandy), soap, biscuits, 


















chocolate, tea, quinine, cigars and cigarettes, 
all were manufactured, and enough calico 
was made from the cotton grown in the planta- 
tions to clothe the askari. Serviceable boots 
were made from locally tanned hides. 

It will be seen that Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck 
had little to fear with respect to maintaining 
his armies in the field. Probably his chief 
anxiety was as to his supply of munitions. The, 
for him, fortunate destruction of the Konigs- 
berg in the estuary of the Rufiji had supplied 
him with ten 4'1-inch and other naval guns as 
well as ammunition for them, and had put at 
his service some 600 trained seamen. But in 
a prolonged contest he must have feared the 
exhaustion of his munitions. He was again 
favoured, for two ships carrying arms, ammu- 
nition and hospital supplies* evaded the 
British blockade and successfully landed their 
stores. One of these blockade runners got 
through about the middle of 1915, the other 
early in 1916 at the time when the Kilimanjaro 
operations were in progress. Reference was 
made in Chapter CLV. (page 144) to the 
smuggling in of arms and ammunition in 1915 ; 
the failure of the Navy to prevent the second 
vessel discharging its cargo resulted in the 
addition of a large stock of ammunition, besides 
some howitzers and trench guns, to the Germans' 
store, at a time, too, when supplies were be- 
ginning to get low. Strange stories were told 
about the second blockade runner. . It was 
said that she went ashore off the coast, that it 
was four days before she floated off, and that 
altogether she took three weeks to unload her 
cargo. Besides munitions she brought, as had 
the 1915 ship, drugs, wine, mosquito nets and 
clothing. Not all the Gentians in East Africa 
were pleased that an unwonted lack of vigi- 
lance on the part of the British Navy had 
allowed them to replenish their munitions. 
Had they not come in an honourable surrender 
might have been inevitable after the fall ol 
Mrogoro and Tabora, and the hopeless struggle 

For military purposes Col. von Lettow- 
Vorbeck had divided the country into three 
areas : the northern, where his mam force 
was concentrated under Major Kraut ; the 

* The medical arrangements of the Germans in East 
Africa were good. They had ample hospital accommo- 
dation and the medical and surgical staffs were expert 
and adequate. The a.-kari, too, were specially trained 
in the removal of wounded from the battlefield. The 
number of wounded prisoners captured by the British 
was comparatively small. 

south-west or Nyasa force under Count Falken- 
stein, and the western or Tabora force. 
Command of the troops at Tabora was en- 
trusted to Major-Gen, von Wahle, a retired 
Prussian officer, who had opportunely arrived 
in German East Africa a few days before 
war broke out to attend the opening of the 
Dar-es-Salamn Exhibition. To each of these 
forces some of the ten 4'1-inch guns from the 
Konigsberg were distributed. 

This slight sketch of the conditions in German 
East Africa shows that its conquest was no 
easy undertaking, while to the determined 
opposition of a well-armed, well -disciplined and 
well-led force were added tremendous diffi- 
culties of climate and transport. As regards the 
effect of climate, on the British side as many 
as two-thirds of the troops, during the 1916 
operations, were whites new to the country ; 
on the German side only some 10 per cent, of 
the troops were whites, and most of them had 
been residents for some period. As regards 
transport the Germans at the outset had 
interior and vastly shorter lines, and as they 
retired their lines became shorter and those 
of the British longer. Over and over again 
in his dispatches Gen. Smuts recurs to the 
deadly effects of the climate and to the almost 
intolerable strain of ever-lengthening lines of 
communication. Unless these factors are con- 
stantly in mind no proper appreciation is 
possible of the achievements of the forces 
engaged. Happily in the Kilimanjaro cam- 
paign they did not play so great a part as in 
the subsequent operations. 

In January, 1916, the German Northern 
Army was strongly entrenched in British 
territory south-east of Mount Kilimanjaro. 
It held Taveta (which was 25 miles distant 
from New Moshi, the terminus of their railway 
from Tanga), and its advanced position was at 
Salaita Hill seven miles east of Taveta on the 
road to Voi, a station on the Uganda railway. 
Gen. Tighe's advanced post, at the beginning 
of January, was at Maktau, roughly half-way 
between Voi and Taveta, and to that point 
he had built a branch railway. On January 22 
the 2nd Division, under Brig.-Gen. Malleson, 
advanced from Maktau to Mbuyuni (which 
became the British advanced base), and the 
railway from Voi was brought up to Njoro 
drift, only three miles east of the German 
position at Salaita. This indicated one of 
Gen. Tighe's proposed lines of advance. Mean- 
time, on January 15, the 1st Division, under 



Major-Gen. J. M. Stewart, had been ordered 
to occupy Longido, the isolated mountain 
north-west of Kilimanjaro which had been 
the scene of stiff fighting earlier in the war, 
and to develop the lines of communications 
with the Magadi branch of the Uganda Rail- 
way, which would enable him to draw supplies 
from Nairobi. Thereafter Gen. Stewart, \vlm 
had with him the 1st South African Mounted 
Brigade under Brig. -Gen. J. L. Van Deventer, 
was to sweep round the west side of Kiliman- 
jaro while Gen. Malleson's brigade advanced 
by Taveta through the gap between Mount 
Kilimanjaro and the Pare Mountains. The 
objective of both brigades was Kahe, a station 
on the Tanga Railway, lying just west of tin- 
gap. Early in February the 2nd South 
African Infantry Brigade reached Mombasa 
and was at once brought, to the front. On 
February 12 Gen. Tighe directed Gen. 
Malleson to make a reconnaissance in force of 
Salaita Hill, and, if possible, eject the enemy. 
(Jen. Malleson selected for this operation three 
battalions of the 1st East African Brigade 
and three battalions from the South African 
Brigade. They were supported by eighteen 
guns and howitzers. Salaita was attacked. 


An isolated hill, covered with dense jungle, 
it was a naturally strong position, it had 
been carefully entrenched, and it was held 
in force. The British attack failed, the 
(I en nans counter-attacked, and Gen. Malleson 
was compelled to withdraw. The British 
casualties were 172. of which number 139 
were among the South Africans. Valuable 
information had been gained, and, as Gen. 
Smuts somewhat drily remarked, " the South 
African Infantry had learned some invaluable 
lessons in bush fighting, and also had oppor- 
tunity to estimate the lighting qualities of 
their enemy." Accustomed to the veld with 
its great open spaces the South Africans had, 
indeed, almost everything to learn concerning 
bush fighting, and that the Salaita action 
ended as it did was not altogether without its 
compensations for the attackers. 

Si)ch was the position when Gen. Smuts, 
on February 19, reached Mombasa. Accom- 
panied by Gen. Tighe, he immediately visited 
the front, and, having concluded that the 
proposed operations were feasible, on arrival 
at Nairobi (General Headquarters) on Feb- 
ruary 23 he telegraphed to Lord Kitchener 
that he was prepared to carry out the occupa- 



tion of the Kilimanjaro area at once. The 
matter was urgent, for unless operations were 
undertaken without delay the rainy season 
would bo reached, and nothing would be able 
to be done for months. Two days later Lord 
Kitchener's sanction to his proposal reached 
(Jen. Smuts, and on the ninth day following 
(March 5) the offensive was opened. They 
had been days of great activity, but the pre- 
liminary organization by Gen. Tighe had been 
so thorough tha.t they sufficed to make the 
final preparations. As Gen. Smuts generously 
acknowledged, not only did he adopt Gen. 
Tighe's plan of campaign, but the success of 
the operations was> in a large measure due 
to his foresight and energy. In addition, 
Gen. Tighe, who on Gen. Smuts's appointment 
had been designated for employment else- 
where, remained in East Africa till the Kili- 
manjaro operations were completed, taking 
command of the 2nd East African Division. 
The principal alterations in Gen. Tighe's 
plans made by Gen. Smuts was to remove from 
Gen. Stewart's command the 1st South African 
Mounted Brigade and to use it, with other troops, 

as an independent unit on the Taveta front. 
At Mbuyuni Gen. Van Deventer's command 
was enlarged by the addition of the 3rd South 
African Infantry Brigade, which had reached 
East Africa two or three days previously. 
In his final arrangements Gen. Smuts disposed 
his forces as follows : 

1st East African Division (Major-Gen. 
Stewart) at Longido. 

2nd East African Division and Army Artillery 
(Gen. Tighe) at Mbuyuni and Serengeti. 

1st South African Mounted Brigade and 
3rd S.A. Inf. Brigade (Brig. -Gen. Van Deventer) 
at Mbuyuni and Serengeti. 

Reserve 2nd S.A. Inf. Brigade at Mbuyuni. 
The 2nd E.A. Division was to advance against 
Salaita ; Van Deventer's force was to strike 
north-west, seize the high ground round Lake 
Chala and develop a turning movement against 
Taveta from the west. Van Deventer and 
Malleson were thus both operating against the 
main body of the German Northern Army 
which held in force the gap between Kilimanjaro 
and the Pare Mts. Major Kraut, it was esti- 
mated, disposed of 6,000 rifles, and had 16 




naval anil field guns and 37 machine guns. 
I'll.' tusk of the 1st E.A. Division remained us 
planned by Gen. Tighe. From Longido it \\ns 
to strike south between Kilimanjaro and 
Mount Mom and thereafter to cut the enemy's 
lino of retreat at Kahe on the Tanga railway. 
A^ I Ion. Stewart had a longer distance to cover 
he was given two days' start before the advance 
on Taveta began. He struck camp at Longido 
on .March 5, and by the afternoon of March 6 
his advanced troops had crossed 35 miles of 
waterless bush and established themselves on 
a small hill east of the Engare (river) Nanjuki. 
By 2 p.m. on March 7 the whole of Gen. Stewart's 
division was concentrated at this point. On 
the evening of the same day the offensive on 
the Mbuyuni front was opened by Van De ven- 
ter's column mounted men and infantry- 
crossing the Serengeti Plains towards Chala. 

The scone of the campaign was altogether re- 
markable. The snow and glacier-clad summit 
of Kilimanjaro towers above Sercngeti. which 
is not an open plain, but is mostly covered with 
thick bush. Eastward the plain joins the 
high ground around the foothills of Kiliman- 
jaro, the lino of junction being marked by an 
intricate river and lake system. From Mawenzi 
(17,564 feet), the lesser of the twin peaks of 
Kilimanjaro, many torrents flow east and 
south. In the footliills is a small lake, Chala. 
From it issues a stream which is joined by one 
of the mountain torrents, and is called the 
Lumi. This river flows south and enters 
another lake, Jipe. North-east of Chala is a 
swamp, Ziwani, whence issues a stream tribu- 
tary to the Ts'avo. Between Chala and Jipe, 
and on either bank of the Lumi, is the straggling 
settlement of Taveta (2,493 feet). The high 



y iii :> w '^"^w^^^^ 

r : '.''A'.'.. V '- -^igW^fi"/..??JR-/ '^> 

zmbeni 'Sttg.*';// 'M/'& 

Scale oP Miles. 

OI23456J83/0 /5 ?0 





road to Moshi passes through Taveta, and here 
the Lumi was crossed by a substantial bridge. 

The German front, wholly in British territory, 
extended from the southern end of Ziwani 
swamp, through Taveta with an outpost at 
Salaita Hill to the swamps around Lake Jipe 
and the Ruwu River, a distance of over 30 mile?. 
The enemy left flank was protected by the 
dangerous, broken foothills of Kilimanjaro, 
their right flank by the Jipe and Ruwu swamps 
and the northern end of the Pare Mountains, 
while in front, between them and the Lumi 
River, stretched seven miles of dense bush. 
Their main strength was concentrated between 
Taveta and Lake Jipe. 

From Taveta the Germans had the ad- 
vantages of two roads connected with the 
Tanga railway. That to Moshi was in excellent 
condition, and the many torrents which eaino 
down the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro and 
crossed it were all bridged. The second road 
was inferior, but quite passable, and had been 
improved to meet military needs. It led 
south-west to Kahe, through a region of forest, 
swamps and rivers. Near Taveta this route 
passed between two hills, Latema and Reata, 
and it was on those lulls that the Germans had 
their strongest positions. 

Geh. Van Deventer's advance was highly 
successful. The mounted men reached the 
Lumi near the south end of Ziwani swamp ; the 
infantry, simultaneously, reached the river 
east of Chala. The crossings were seized early 
in the morning of March 8, and the enemy 
forced to withdraw from the Chala position. 
An enemy detachment of 300 to 500, cut off 
by Van Deventer's advance, crept through the 
thick bush lining the river and attacked the 
infantry outposts, but was driven back and 
retired northward. On March 9 Van Deventer's 
mounted men got astride the Moshi road behind 
Taveta. This disconcerted the enemy, who 
during the day evacuated Taveta, falling back 
by the Kahe road. Meantime the 2nd 
Division, under Gen. Tighe. had bombarded 
Salaita Hill over which floated the green 
standard of the Prophet as well as the German 
flag on March 8, and the infantry of his 
first brigade had advanced and dug them- 
selves in, preparatory to an assault on the 
!Mh. On that day the bombardment of 
Salaita was continued till 2 p.m. The 
infantry then advanced, only to find 
that the bombardment, coupled with Van 
Deventer's turning movement, had caused 
the garrison to retreat. Though mounted 

////; 7 7 .!//> HISTOKY OF THE IV. lit. 


men were sent in pursuit the garrison got 
clear away. 

The Germans quickly repented of having 
abandoned Taveta, and early on March 10 sent 
a strong body to reoccupy it. But still earlier 
in the morning Van Deventer had sent a regiment 
of South African Horse from Chala to the same 
spot, andit had " made good " Taveta before the 
Germans* appeared. A sharp encounter ended 
in the retreat of the enemy, who were hotly 
pursued by the South African Horse and Field 
Artillery, to their Latema-Reata position. 

Gen. Smuts did not know whether the main 
enemy force had retired along the Moshi or the 
Kahe road, but in any case it was necessary 
to occupy the Latema-Reata position, and 
operations against it were ordered for March 1 1. 
There ensued one of the stiffest fights in the 
whole campaign in East Africa. The Germans 
knew the great strength of their positions, they 
had hitherto had the advantage in the struggle 
since the war began and they believed that the 
reverse at Taveta might be retrieved. There- 
was too, then, a general belief among the 
Ci Titian residents that the British troops 
in East Africa were urgently needed for the 
defence of Egypt, and it was thought that 
if the British were defeated at Kilimanjaro 
the German protectorate would be saved 
from invasion. 

Brig. -Gen. Malleson, with the 1st Brigade of 
the 2nd E.A. Division, was selected " to clear 
up the situation and, if possible, make good 
the nek." The force at his disposal, which was 
altogether inadequate to the task assigned it, 
was thus cniiipnsi-d : - 

Belfie!d' Seoiits (a volunteer force raised in British 
* For convenience ull the troops employed are styled 
generally German or British. Only where neOMMry 
is the exact composition of the force indicated. 


East Africa): Mounted Infantry Co. ; Nos. 6 and 8 Field 
Batteries ; No. 134 Howit/.er Battery ; 2nd Rhodesuvi 
Regt. ; 130th Baluchis ; 3rd King's African Rifles; 
Machine Gun Battery, Loyal North Limes. Kei_'t. ; ami 
a Volunteer Machine Gun Co. 

A spur of Lati'ma Hill, which commands tin- 
pass from the north, was chosen as the objec- 
tive, and at a quarter to twelve the troops 
advanced to the attack. The 130th Baluchis 
on the right and the 3rd K.A.R. on the Irit 
formed the firing line. The attack was sup- 
ported by artillery at a range of about 3,500 
yards, and the mounted troops watched on the 
flanks. As they approached the bush-clad 
slopes of Latema the Baluchis and K.A.R. came 
under very heavy fire. The Germans had field 
guns and pom-poms in action besides numerous 
machine guns, while their rifle fire wassteady and 
accurate. Despite much gallantry the assault- 
ing troops made little headway and at 4 p.m. 
the Germans were still in full possession of the 
ridge. At this hour, wrote Gen. Smuts in his 
dispatch covering the Kilimanjaro operations, 
" Gen. Malleson, who was seriously indisposed, 
asked to be relieved of his command, and I 
directed General Tighe to assume command 
of the operations personally." At. the same 
time the Force Reserve, which had just reached 
Taveta, reinforced the 2nd Division with the 
5th S.A. Battalion. The course of the fight from 
t In- point is vividly described by Gen. Smuts. 

On the arrival of the 5th South African Infantry 
General Tighc (wrote General Smuts in his dispatch) 
ordered tin 1 Rhodeshuis to advance, and to carry the 
Kini/s 'African Rifles forward with them in an assault 
on the Latema ridge, the IHOih Huhichis co-operatin;; 
vigorously on the right. All ground gained was to be at 
once made good. The Ittli Field Buttery and ">th South 
African Field Battery, as they arrived in Taveta, were 
brought into action in support of t ho attaek. This 
assault was gallantly pressed home, especially h.y the 
Rhodesians, but failed to make good the ridge. The 
:!nl K.A.R., who had been hotly engaged since the outset, 
had the misfortune to lose their gallant leu ler, Lieut.- 



Colonel B. R. Graham, and several other officers. 
General Tighe found it necessary to support the Baluchis 
with half the 5th South African Infantry, and I further 
reinforced the 2nd Division with the 7th South African 

This latter battalion reached General Tighe about 
8 p.m., and shortly afterwards he decided that the best 
chance of quickly dislodging the enemy from their position 
on the nok was to send in the two South African Bat- 
talions with the bayonet by night. 

Night operations in dense bush were fraught 
with considerable risk, but Gen. Tighe did not 
hesitate to take the risk, and the ultimate result 
justified his action. Moreover, the moon was in 
the first quarter and aided movement up to 

The night advance of the two South African Bat- 
talions was ably organized and gallantly led by Lieut.- 
Colonel Byron, Commanding 5th South African Infantry. 
The 7th South African Infantry formed the first line, 
with the 5th in support. They advanced with great 
dash through the bush, which proved to be much thicker 
than was anticipated, driving the enemy before them 
till the latter was on the crest, where he checked our 
advance. A certain amount of disintegration was in- 
evitable in a night advance through the dense thorn 
bush in the face of stubborn opposition. Groups of 
men and individuals who got separated from their 
leaders had no course but to fall back to the position 
where the 1st East African Brigade was formed up in 
general reserve, about 1,500 yards east of the nek. 

Colonel Byron had issued instructions that, on reach- 
ing the crest, Lieut.-Colonel Freeth, commanding 
the 7th South African Infantry, and Major Thompson, 
of the same battalion, should wheel outwards and 
make good the heights north and south of the nek 
respectively, while Colonel Byron himself secured tho 
actual nek. These two gallant officers most ably carried 
out their task. Colonel Freeth fought his way up tho 
steep spurs of Latema till he found that the party with 
him had dwindled to 18 men. He was joined by a few 
of the Rhodesians and King's African Rifles, who had 
clung on to the crest of tho ridge after the assault iu 
the evening, and the small party held on till daylight. 
Major Thompson wheeled towards Reata with 170 men 
and dug himself in in an advantageous position. About 
midnight Colonel Byron reached the nek within 30 yards 
of the enemy's main position. The opposition here was 
very stubborn. At one point Major Mainprise, R.E., 
Brigade Major, and 22 men were killed by the concen- 
trated fire of three machine guns, and Colonel Byron 
who was himself slightly wounded, reached the nek with 
only 20 men. The enemy was still in a position which 
commanded the ground he hat! won, and, finding it 
impossible either to advance or to hold his ground, he 
was reluctantly compelled to withdraw. 

Meanwhile General Tighe found it extremely difficult 
to keep touch with the progress of the fight, of which he 
could only judge by the firing and the reports of officers 
and others sent back from the ridge, who naturally were 
only cognizant of events in their own immediate vicinity. 
About 1 a.m. several requests for reinforcements reached 
him, and he ordered forward the 130th Baluchis. These 
advanced at 1.20 a.m., and shortly m?t Col. Byrcn, 
who reported that he had ordered his small party to 
retire. General Tigho accordingly re-formed his force 
ami dug in astride tho road to await daylight. Attempts 
to gain touch with Colonel Freeth and Major Thompson 

It r,ppeared as if the fight were but hr.lf won, 
but the Germans had suffered more heavily 
than their opponents realised. Gen. Smuts hrd 

at 4.30 a.m. on March 12 actually ordered Gen. 
Tighe to withdraw his whole force farther back, 
and the withdrawal was in progress when patrols 
brought in the news that the enemy was hi full 
retreat towards Kahe. The artillery was 
brought up to shell the Germans in their retire- 
ment, but effective pursuit through the dense 
forest could not be attempted. The Germans 
carried away nearly all their guns, all their 
wounded and most of their dead, but between 
40 and 50 bodies were found in the abandoned 
position, besides a 6 cm. gun and three machine 
guns. The British casualties, killed and 
wounded, were about 270. In this engagement 
the South Africans showed that they were apt 

[From " The Conquest of German East." 

Divisional Commander under Gen. Smuts. 

scholars in the art of bush fighting, while nothing 
could exceed the gallantry shown by the 130th 
Haluchis and the 3rd K.A.R., some of whom 
were in action over 16 hours.* 

Gen. Van Deventer in his advance from 
Taveta encountered comparatively slight re- 
sistance, and on March 13 he occupied Moshi 
unn;>;M>scd. But on their retirment the enemy 
had de.-tniyed all the numerous bridges along 

* The fight of March 1 1 was at first called the Kitovo 
action, after the g,-,n-nl name of the hills of which 
Lutenia and Keata form part. 

14(i 3 











the road, and thus early in the campaign 
difficulties of rationing the force made them- 
selves felt. 

From Latema and from Moshi the Germans 
had withdrawn towards Kahe. That place, it 
will be remembered, was the objective of the 
1st Division, which under Gen. Stewart had left 
Longido on March 5 to outflank the enemy by 
marching westward of Kilimanjaro. The good 
progress it acliieved in the first few days 
already chronicled was not maintained. On 
March 8 it was at a place called Geraragua, 
where was a large enemy camp. The German 
commander retired and Gen. Stewart burnt the 
camp. But, though he met with only slight 
opposition from the enemy, the country Gen. 
Stewart had to traverse was covered with 
heavy bush and he had many troubles with his 
transport, which was partly ox-drawn, partly 
motor. On March 9 Gen. Stewart halted to 
reconnoitre and to let his supplies come up. He 
halted again on the 10th in consequence of the 
exhausted state of the ox-transport, and because 
all the bridges on the direct road had been blown 
up by the enemy, who also blocked the road 
with masses of thorn bush. A difficult track 
farther west was found, and at midday on the 
10th the advance was resumed through coun- 
try where lions, elephants, and " rhinos " dis- 
puted man's right of way. Rain also hindered 
the movements of the infantry, and it was not 
until March 13 that the 1st Division reached 
Boma Jangornbe, on the western flank of 
Kilimanjaro. Here Gen. Stewart was informed 
by telegram that the enemy had already 
avoided encirclement, and the 1st Division was 
ordered to make direct to New Moshi, instead 
of continuing its march to Kahe. It reached 
New Moshi on the 14th, where it joined up with 
Van Deventer's force. On March 19 Gen. 
Stewart left for India. 

The turning movement had failed, and the 
six companies (about 1,200 men) who had been 
opposing Gen. Stewart had passed through New 
Moshi en route to Kahe on the night of 
March 1 2. * It is, however, somewhat doubtful 
whether the 1st E.A. Division, had it reached 
Kahe in time, was strong enough to hold it 
against the force the Germans could have con- 
centrated there. 

* The German commander was severely censured by 
Colonel von Lettow-Vorbeck for not opposing General 
Stewart's advance, and, it i.-> stated, committed suicide. 
It is known that through fear of Colonel von Le'fow- 
Vorbeck's displeasure at least two German oinct'rs 
committed suicide. 

At Kaho the enemy occupied positions offer- 
ing great advantages to the defence. They 
stretched, south of the Taveta-Moshi road, along 
the gap between Kilimanjaro and the Pare 
Mountains, a gap which has been already de- 
scribed as a region of forest, swamps and rivers. 
The rivers were some of the head streams of the 
Pangani. Of these the Himo, Mwe, and Rau 
flow south from Kilimanjaro, each in turn 
joining the Ruwu (or Rufu), which has an east 
to west direction, curving round the northern 
end of the Pare Mountains. As these heights 
turn south, near Kahe, so does the Ruwu, which 
from this point is usually known as the Pangani. 
The road from Tanga and Usambara keeps 
close to the western scarp of the Pare Moun- 
tains and goes on past the western end of " the 
gap " to Moshi. Parallel to and west of the 
road is the railway, and both road and railway 
cross the Ruwu (Pangani) near Kahe. The 
German forces were posted along the Mwe and 
Himo, between which streams is the high road 
to.Kahe ; along the Ruwu, and at Kahe railway 
station and the adjacent Kahe Hill. 

To turn them out of these positions was 
Gen. Smuts's next undertaking. The principal 
operations were entrusted to Brig.-Gen. S. H. 
Sheppard, who had commanded one of the 
brigades of the 1st E.A. Division. The attack 
began on March 18 on a front extending from 
Latema Nek to the Mwe, Sheppard advancing 
along the Mwe-Kahe road. There was sharp 
fighting on the 18th, 19th and 20th. Shep- 
pard's force advanced on the 18th along the 
road to Kahe as far as Masai Kraal, and on the 
19th pushed the enemy back to Store, four 
miles further south. There, on the 20th, his 
camp was heavily but unsuccessfully attacked 
from 9.30 p.m. till midnight. The enemy 
advanced with bugles blowing and with much 
shouting, to be mown down by machine-gun 
fire. Again and again, with grfnt bravery, 
the attack was repeated, but tile British lines 
were never reached, though a few bodies \\ in- 
found within five yards of the trenches. 

On the afternoon of the same day (March 20) 
Gen. Van Deventer had teen sent westward 
from Moshi with the 1st S.A. Mounted Brigmle. 
the 4th S.A. Horse and two field batteries to 
get in rear of the enemy's position at Kahe 
station. They had to traverse a thorn-bush 
country, which made the going slow, but by 
daylight on March 21 they were Hearing the, 
J'lUigani at a point south-west of Kahe Hill. 
Notwithstanding some difficulty in crossing the 


river, by midd.'.v Van Deventer with part of 
liis force luul occupied Kahe Hill, another 
height known as Baumi',nn Hill and Kiihe 
station. Tn retiring the Germans blew up 
the railway bridge across the Pangani. Some 
of Van Peventer's men were still on the far 
Mile of the river. Those who had crossed had 
to resist several determined attempts to retake 
Kahe Hill. Too late the Hermans had realized 
that, it was the key of their position. They 
failed, however, to drive out the South Africans. 
For his p;irt Van Deventer found that he could 
not do much more until the whole of his force 
had crossed the Pangani. A detachment, 
which he sent forward to cut off the retreat of 
the enemy by the high road found the Germans 
in force, and had to retire. The defence was 
much aided by two of the Konigsberg's guns, 
which were in action all day. One was in a 
concealed fixed position, the other was mounted 
on a railway truck. 

While Gen. Van Deventer was waiting to 
develop his turning movement Gen. Sheppnrd 
fought a very stiff action. He was ordered to 
attack as soon as Gen. Smuts learned thr.t 
Van Deventer was nearing Kahe. Gen. Shep- 
pard's force then consisted of the 2nd K.A. 
Brigade (25th Royal Fusiliers, 29th Punjabis, 
and 129th Baluchis), the 2nd S.A. Brigade 
(the 5th, 6th and 8th S.A. Infantry Battalions), 
the East African Mounted Rifles, 1st King's 
African Rifles, one squadron 17th Cavalry, 
1st and 3rd S.A. Field Artillery Battery, the 

27th Mountain Battery (Itidii-n Army), No. I-' 
Howitzer Battery and two naval armoured 
cars (these errs much affrighted the natives, 
who called them rhinoceros). The 3rd S.A. 
Brigade, which had moved down the Himo 
river and had occupied a hill called Kuphorbien. 
was to co-operate on (Jen. Sheppard's left 
(east) flank. The advance of this brigade, 
wrote Gen. Smuts, " was so impeded by the 
druse bush that it was unable to exercise any 
influence on the fight." Without their aid 
(Jen. Sheppard found himself too weak to 
complete the task assigned to him. 

The advance began half an hour before 
midday, and by half-past twelve the Germans 
had been forced back to their main position. 
This position was cleverly chosen. It stood on 
the southern side of a clearing in the bush 
with tributaries of the Ruwu, the Soko Xassai 
and the Defu, protecting its flanks. This 
clearing, which varied in width from 600 to 
1,200 yards, part of Sheppard's infantry tried 
to cross. They advanced with the utmost 
gallantry, but the enemy's dispositions were so 
skilfully made that every attempt was met ;ind 
repulsed by rifle and machine-gun fire, both 
from front and flank. The troops, too, wen- 
attacking an unseen foe, and for the artillery 
definite targets were very hard to obtain. 
Sheppard's guns were well handled, the 27th 
Mountain Battery being in action in the actual 
firing line.* The forward guns of this ban erj 

* This battery had come from India iu August, 1914, 



were firing at ranges of from 1,400 to 700 yards 
for hours without seeing a single enemy or 
being sure where his guns were placed. The 
fight continued while daylight lasted, and it was 
only as evening fell that the flames from the 
German machine guns were visible, enabling 
the British gunners to locate them. During 
the fight some 150,000 rounds were fired by 
the British artillery alone. To help his frontal 
attack Sheppard detached two double com- 
panies of the 129th Baluchis to turn the enemy's 
right. They crossed the Sold Nassai shoulder 
deep, and ca-ne almost up to the German lines, 
when a very hot engagement ensued, a German 
and a British machine gun having a duel at a 
distance of only 45 paces. The Baluchis, 
counter-attacked and held their ground, but 
could make no farther advance, and it was too 
late in the evening to send reinforcements. 

With nightfall the contest ended. Gen. 
Sheppard did not know that Van Deventer 
\\ i's already at Kahe Station, some miles in 
advance of his right flank, and no contact 
could be established through the intervening 
dense bush. Sheppard therefore gave orders to 
his troops to dig themselves in, preparatory to 
a renewal of the attack at dawn. " The whole 
force," said Gen. Smuts, " was ably handled by 
Gen. Sheppard, and the men fought like 
heroes." The casualties on the British side in 
this engagement were 288, those of the enemy 
were not known. 

On the 21st the Germans had been engaged 
on a double front on their right (east) against 
Gen. Sheppard and the 3rd S.A. Brigade, on 
their left (west) against Van Deventer's mounted 
force. They had shown a certain amount of 
weakness against Van Deventer, but had fought 
with skill and tenacity on the Ruwu front, and 
they had been reinforced during the day by 
troops brought up by rail. Their obstinate 
resistance on that front was, it appeared, under- 
taken to enable them to withdraw before Van 
Deventer could develop his movement against 
their left flank. Under cover of darkness the 
enemy evacuated the whole of the Kahe-Ruwu 
line, retiring south by the Tanga railway. 
Patrols sent out by Gen. Sheppard early on 
March 22 found the enemy gone. He had 
crossed the Ruwu and passed down the main 
road to the nearest point of the railway. 'Flic 
retirement was orderly, and practically all his 
guns and equipment were removed, with the 

and with the 29th Punjabis constituted the first re- 
inforcement to reach East Africa. Both the 2th 
Punjabis and the 27th M.B. had already rendered 
excellent service. 

important exception of the stationary 4' 1 -inch 
Koixigsberg gun, which, being unable to take 
away, he had blown up. 

While these operations around Kahe were in 
progress mounted scouts had ridden westward 
from Moshi, 50 miles to Arusha, a German 
settlement on the i-outhe.-n slopes of Mount 


Commanded First East African Brigade. 

Meru, driving (March 20) an enemy 'company 
southward. Thus when the Germans retired 
from Kahe the conquest of the Kilimanjaro- 
Meru region was completed. This little campaign 
had lasted just 18 days. During that period 
the enemy had been finally driven from British 
territory, and had lost one of the most healthy 
and the most fertile districts of German 
East Africa. The German missionaries at Moshi 
after a few days' detention were set ut liberty, 
as were other German civilians, and the policy 
of leaving German non-combatants undisturbed 
was followed in the later operations. Th"en?my 
acted otherwise. Thin the Germans had de- 
ported the Bo?r families settled around Kili- 
manjaro find Meru.* ^^___ 

* Th"s<- Bo.-rs, over 90 all told, were found at I.ol 
Ki'Milo. nud rescued when that place was captured. 
(Seep. 99.) 



Kilimanjaro had been conquered with such 
speed tluit the campaign WHS over before the 
advent of the rainy season, which in that part 
of the country began in mid-April. Gen. 
Smuts, who had moved his headquarters to 
Moshi. while he had to decide the strategy to be 
followed in the coming campaign, had other 
pressing matters to consider. Chief among 
them were the need to reorganise his army and 




the ever troublesome transport question. As 
to reorganisation, one of the difficulties, little 
comprehended in England, arose from the 
extraordinarily heterogeneous composition of 
Gen. Smuts' s army. Drawn from almost every 
continent, the troops spoke a perfect babel of 
languages. They included many diverse races 
from India ; Arabs, Boers, and representatives 
of almost every tribe and tongue in East 
Africa, besides British South Africans, East 
African settlers (including a number of Cana- 
dians, Australians and Americans) and bat- 
talions of the Regular Army. Again, of the 
East African native troops, the King's African 
Rifles were regulars, and others were local 
levies who knew scarcely a dozen words of 
English. (For these Swahili-speaking officers 
were needed, Swaliili being understood by most 
East African natives.) Even the Union forces 
were not all European, as they included a 
battalion of "Cape Boys" i.e., coloured men 
from Cape Province.* Up to this period the 
troops had been thrown together as immediate 
necessity demanded, and it is no wonder that 
Gen. Smuts, among the reasons for reorganising 
his force, stated the need to secure smooth and 
harmonious working. The arrangement adopted, 
which came into force by the end of March, was 
to create three divisions, two (the 2nd and 3rd) 

*A Native Labour Corps and an Indian Bearer Co. 
\\ere also raised in the Union of South Africa. 

formed by the contingents from South Africa 
and the other (the 1st) to include the Indian and 
other British forces. The divisional and brigade 
commanders were : 

FIRST DIVISION. (Yniniiuidrr. Major-General A. K. 
]lnskins, I'.M.C., D.S.O. First K. A. Brigade, Hrigiulirr- 
General S. H. Sheppard, D.S.O. Second E. A. Brigade, 
Brigadier-General J. A. Hannyngton, C.M.G.. D.S.O. 

SECOND DIVISION. Commander, Major-General J. L. 
Van Deventer. First S.A. Mounted Brigade, Brigadier- Mamie Botha. Third S.A. Infantry Brigade, 
Brigadier-General C. A. L. Berrange, C.M.G. With this 
division was also the 28th Mountain Battery of the 
Indian Army. 

THIRD DIVISION. Commander, Major-General Coen 
Brits. Second S.A. Mounted Brigade, Brigadier-General 
B. Enslin. Second S.A. Infantry Brigade, Brigadier- 
General P. S. Beves. 

Of these officers Gen. Hoskiiis (North Staff. 
Regt.) was Inspector-General of the King's 
African Rifles. He had seen active service in 
the Sudan, in South Africa and in East Africa, 
and on his appointment to the 1st Division it 
was understood that in case of need he would 
succeed Gen. Smuts, as he eventually did. The 
Chief of the General Staff was Brig. -Gen. J. J. 
Collyer, C.M.G. ; the chief of the Administrative 
Staff Brig. -Gen. R. H. Ewart, C.B., and Brig.- 
Gen. W. F. S. Edwards, D.S.O., was Inspector- 
Gen, of Communications. These tliree men, 


whose names rarely figured in the accounts of 
the campaign, rendered most valuable service. 
With respect to transport the British base 
was Mombasa, 220 miles from headquarters at 
Moshi. Mbuyuni, on the Voi branch of the 
Uganda Railway, was the advanced base, and 
the most urgent need for speedy transport was to 
press forward the building of the branch line 
till it linked up with the Tanga-Moshi railway. 
Col. Sir W. Johns, who had charge of railway 
construction, and his helpers accomplished 
marvels. While the Kilimanjaro operations 
were in progress the railway was carried forward 
from the Njoro drift, past Salaita to Taveta 






and the Latema nek at an average rate of a mile 
a day, including surveying, heavy bush cutting 
and the bridging of the. Luini river. After tin 1 
abandonment of the Ruwu positions by th'- 
< iermans tlie building of the line went on apace. 
Jl WHS (alien from tlie Latema Xek througli the 
gap between Kilimanjaro and the Pare Moun- 

[Ettiatt & Fry. 


Chief of the General Staff under General Smuts. 

tains, and linked up with the German line at 
Kahe. This was a very difficult piece of work, 
the track having to be cut through virgin forest 
(necessitating the felling of enormous trees), 
which was at the same time a swamp. When 
the first wagons were placed on them the rails 
sank beneath the sodden soil. All difficulties 
were overcome, and on April 25 the railway was 
completed. Though completed, the railway, 
in the rainy season, was for long distances 
practically under water, and thousands of 
labourers had to be constantly employed to 
prevent the track disappearing in the mud- 
This was the western limit of the British railway 
service, and until he was able to secure a new 
base at a port in German East Africa for every 
step in his farther advance Gen. Smuts had to 
depend on other means of transport, chiefly 
motor lorries, which were of a kind that proved 
too heavy and cumbersome. As it was, the 
n -niir-ri s of the Uganda Railway were severely 
taxed, and additional rolling stock had to be 
obtained from India.* 

The report for 1915-16 of the Knilway Administra- 
tion, British Kast Africa showed that the Uganda Rail- 
way had transported, in the period covered, for army 
purposes 55,000 head of horses, mules, donkeys, and 

.I'll, and over Mil. 11(1(1 sheep, and tills with tm\\ one 
mishap. The railway also carried, free of charge. 770 
ton- weight of gifts for the trn.,|i,. 

By the completion of the railway line to 
Kiihe, Gen. Smuts was able to make freer use 
of Mbuyuni, which was built on a wooded ridge 
with ample space for a large camp, whereas 
Moshi was perched on a steep slope of Kiliman- 
jaro. Mbuyuni was headquarters for certain 
brigades and was also the principal aeroplane 
base, and at that time (March-May, 1916) 
aeroplanes in large numbers were being tested 
there. Aeroplanes had been used to locate the 
enemy positions on the Ruwu, but observation 
in dense bush and forest country did not prove 
very satisfactory. Later, aeroplane attacks 
proved an effective method of dispersing troops 
and carriers on the march.* 

The problem confronting Gen. Smuts after 
the conquest of Kilimanjaro was difficult. 
The British troops occupied but a very small 
fraction of enemy territory 

which (said Gen. Smuts) stretched out before us in 
enormous extent, with no known vital point anywhere, 
containing no important cities or centres, with practi- 
cally no roads, the only dominant economical features 
of the whole being the two railway systems. 

This description, if not quite accurate from 
the colonial standpoint there were, for in- 

[Kllioll 6- Fry. 



Commanded the Third South African Infantry 

stance, some 3,00.) miles of good roads (in a 
country twice the size of Germany) and four or 
five considerable towns was true in the mili- 
tary sense, for as the event proved it was only 

* The natives especially those in German territory 
believed the aeroplanes to be birds, and called them 
tideyi (Swahili for bird). Many could hardly be con- 
vinced that there were men in them, and when bombs 
were dropped from them they said that the birds were 



by the actual occupation of the whole pro- 
tectorate that, resistance could be ended. Col. 
von Lettow-Vorbeck expected an attack in 
the Pare and Usambara mountains, and had 
massed there the greater part of his force, while 
according to the information which reached 
Gen. Smuts, he intended, after making as long 
a stand as possible in Pare and Usambara, to 
retire to the Tabora area, in the west-central 
part of the protectorate. There were excellent 
reasons for not striking at the enemy in the 
region where he \\ as best prepared for defence, 
and where the terrain offered him every ad- 
vantage. But putting aside an advance on 
Usambara, Gen. Smuts had still three alterna- 

such an alternative and many factors favoured 
an advance by way of Dar-es -Salaam. The 
port lay at the mercy of the Navy and its 
capture would, as Gen. Smuts himself pointed 
out. have had great political and military 
importance. Moreover, its occupation would 
much facilitate transport and supply arrange- 
ments. \Yhether in the light of subsequent 
knowledge it would have been best to adopt 
this plan of campaign is a point that cannot be 
definitely decided. (Jen. Smuts decided against 

partly because the prevalence of the S.E. monsoon at 
that period made a landing of a large force on that coast 
an operation of great difficulty, and even clanger, partly 
because a prolonged campaign on the coast immediately 


tives. Of these, one, an advance via Victoria 
Nyanza on Tabora was ruled out for an excellent 
reason the British force already in the lake 
region should be able in conjunction with the 
Belgians and some little assistance from Gen. 
Smuts to seize Tabora. Between the two 
remaining alternatives the choice was not easy. 
They were (1) an advance south from Arusha, 
and (2) an advance west from Dar-es-Salaam 
along the line of the Central Railway. In 
German South-West Africa the plan of striking 
inland from the coast along the railway lines 
had been adopted with signal success, but it 
had also been adopted because there was no 
real alternative. In East Africa there was 

after the rainy season would mean the disappearance 
of a very large percentage of my army from malaria 
and other tropical ailments. 

The course adopted, that of striking straight 
into the interior from Anislm, with the Central 
Railway as objective, did also in fact entail the 
disappearance of a very considerable proportion 
of the army from malaria and other tropical 
ailments. This was in part the result of 
misconceptions concerning the extent and 
severity of the approaching rainy season. 
Gen. Smuts was assured that the violence of 
the rains would be mostly confined to t he 
Kilimanjaro-Arusha area, and that farth< r 
west and south th<> ruins would not markedly 



interfere with military operations. Predict ioi s 
ivlxuit. !! rains in Kast Africa ]>rcive(l to lie as 
dangerous as weather predictions in England ; 
when t!ie rainy sc:ison emne it cm no with equal 
violence throughout the proposed area of 
opt rations. "The numerous rivers came down 
in flood and swept away almost all our labor- 
iously built bridges, t he roads beeame impassable 
mud tracks, and all transport became a physical 
impossibility. The rains fell steadily day 
after day, sometimes as much as four 
inches in one day, and the low-lying parts 
of the country assumed the appearance ot 

But before the rains began, rather before 
they had lasted many days, a very shrewd 
blow had been struck at the enemy. Within 
a week of the Kahe fight Gen. Smuts had made 
his decision as to the main lines of his strategy, 
and action followed immediately. The whole 
of the 2nd Division was pushed south from 
Arusha, the 1st and 3rd Divisions being kept 
for the time in rain quarters facing the enemy 
in the Pare district. Gen. Smuts expected, 
and so it befell, that to stem the tide of in- 
vasion in the interior the enemy would with- 

draw large forces from Pare, and that thus, 
even if called upon to send additional troops 
to the 2nd Division, he would still have a 
sufficient force in hand to make a comparatively 
easy conquest of the Pare and Usambara 

By the end of March the whole of the First 
S.A. Mounted Brigade w : as at Arusha, and on 
April 1 Gen. Van Deventer, with Brig. -Gen. 
A. H. M. Nussey, his chief of staff, established 
headquarters there. The road into the interior 
" stood wide open and unguarded " ; the region 
ahead, the Masai Steppe, was practicable for 
mounted troops, who were now being employed 
on a large scale in East Africa for the first time. 
Scouts sent out by Van Deventer reported, 
however, the presence of an enemy detach- 
ment near an isolated rocky hill,' Lol Kissale, 
35 miles south-west of Arusha. This detach- 
ment was posted so as to deny to the 
British use of the springs on the hill, 
the only water (in the dry season) to be 
found for many miles around. Still farther 
off, along the western and southern scarp of the 
Masai Steppe, were weak German garrisons at 
Ufiome, Umbulu, and Kondoa Irangi. Of these 

- 1 - -. \^*ft*W '11 \ 

, *r*g y>)S ,^Anr.:- 
?" :; &&8*f*y1 ~ 

1 * ij* : .--:. \. i. ^^ 

;Hgt,gabs a ^^V 'v\* ^ M rifC ' A z Nlhonda"V^ 

*/' .1^,, V A^/S^^fe^^^^ 

|^**^c3tjL ^^'-^^^/Ss^y^^C 





three places Kondoa Irangi was the most impor- 
tant. About 85 miles north of the nearest point 
of the Central Railway it had a wireless station, 
and was one of von Lettow-Vorbeck's food 

On learning of the importance of Lol Kissale 
as a water supply, Gen. Smuts issued instruc- 
tions that the advance south of the Second 
Division should be directed first to that place. 
Accordingly on the morning of April 3, three 
regiments of S.A. Horse moved out of Arusha, 
and during the ensuing night surrounded Lol 
Kissale. The Germans, attacked in the morn- 
ing, fought with determination all through 
April 4 and 5, but at daybreak on the 6th the 
whole force surrendered. All this time, since 
noon on April 3, the horses of the Sputh Africans 
had been without water. The enemy force 
which surrendered was found to consist of the 
28th Field Co. and Kampfe's Detachment. It 
numbered 17 Europeans and 404 askari, with 
two machine-guns. The Boers removed from 
Kilimanjaro were found here ; the Germans had 
not had time to send them, as they intended, 
farther south. A large quantity of stores, 
ammunition, and pack-animals fell into Van 
Deventer's hands. Equally valuable was the 
information gained that the garrisons of Kondoa 
Irangi and of Ufiome had been instructed by Col. 
von Lettow-Vorbeck to hold out as long as 
possible, and that reinforcements were being 
sent to them. 

Van Deventer was thereupon instructed to 
press forward with his mounted troops and 

occupy Kondoa Irangi, Umbulu,* and Ufiome 
before the garrisons could be reinforced. This 
-task he accomplished " with his usual clash and 
resourcefulness." On April 10 the First 
Mounted Brigade located the position at 
Ufiome, which the enemy garrison of some 20 
Europeans and about 200 askari evacuated on 
the 13th, leaving 30 prisoners, besides some 
wounded and a quantity of stores, in the 
hands of the South Africans. The enemy were 
pursued for 20 miles and thrown into disorder, 
but managed to escape into the mountains. 
A halt of four days having been made to rest 
both men and horses, the advance was resumed 
on April 17 and contact established with the 
enemy the same day at a spot four miles north 
of Kondoa Irangi. Fighting continued till noon 
on the 19th, when Van Deventer occupied 
Kondoa Irangi. " The British success," said 
Renter's correspondent, " was due to the 
employment of typical Boer tactics. The centre 
was firmly held, while the flanks of the enemy 
were slowly and cautiously enveloped with the 
aid of rifle and field-gun fire. Not a burgher was 
exposed, as the net was drawn closer and closer 
until after two days of fighting the enemy 
burnt his stores and bolted before the en- 
veloping movement could be completed." 
During this engagement the losses of the South 
Africans were nil, while the Germans had 20 
killed and wounded, besides four whites and 
* Umbulu was captured on May 11 by a separate force 
sent from Arusha and consisting of the 4th S.A. Horse, 
supported by the 10th S.A. Infantry and the 28th 
Mountain Battery. 






20 askari captured. The Germans had destroyed 
the wireless station and part of their supplies, but 
the " booty " left behind included 800 head of 
cattle a welcome addition to van Deventer's 

For the time Van Deventer had reached the 
limit of his tether. He had lost hundreds of 
animals through horse sickness during his 
advance of some 200 miles from Moshi, and his 
troops were worn out with ceaseless marching 
and fighting. In any case he could not move 
until remounts arrived, and meantime the rains 
had begun, and were increasing in violence. 
The Second Division was, in fact, cut off from 
Gen. Smuts's main body for several weeks by 
over 200 miles of quagmire. It had to depend 
on what supplies could be got locally, or at most 
painfully brought by carriers (none but human 
transport was possible) from Lol Kissale, which 
is 120 miles distant from Kondoa Irangi. 

Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck quickly realized 
flint Van Deventer's thrust into the heart of 
the country threatened danger to liis rear, and 
he acted as Cen. Smuts had anticipated he 
would act ; he transferred a strong force from 
Pare and Usambara to Kondoa Irangi. He \\ as 
mueli |i-.~s liiMnpered than Van Deventer had 
been by the rains. In the first place his troops 
were sent by the Tanga Railway to Mombo, 
t hence by a light lino to Hnndeui. From that 
plivee tlicy hud to inarch 130 miles to the Central 
Railway, along which they were taken to 

Dodoma. From that place they marched 
again towards Kondoa Irangi. The German 
troops, too, 90 per cent of them askari, were 
more accustomed to the rains than the South 
Africans, and were fleet-footed. Nevertheless, it 
was a considerable achievement on the part of 
Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck to transfer the force 
as quickly as he did. By May 7 he had con- 
centrated over 4,000 men six miles south of 
Van Deventer's position. At that time the 
Second Division was so weakened by privations 
and sickness, and unavoidable detachments, 
that it could barely muster 3,000 rifles at 
Kondoa Irangi. Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck, 
perceiving his opponent's situation, took the 
offensive, Van Deventer retiring to entrenched 
positions which had a perimeter of about five 
miles. The Germans, at 7.30 p.m. on May 9, 
mode a general attack oil Van Deventer's front, 
and pressed their attack until 3.15 a.m. on the 
loth, when, having been unable to gain any 
advantage, they withdrew. Col. von Lettow- 
Vorbeck was in personal command, and had at 
his disposal some 25 companies, organised as 
three battalions and one smaller detachment. 
The strength of the companies varied. The 
majority were about 150 strong, some were 
weaker and some numbered 200. The total 
force von Lettow-Yorbeck brought against 
the Second Division could not have been much 
below 4,000, and may have been greater. The 
attack was pressed with great spirit. Four 



separate onslaughts were made, the enemy in 
some places repeatedly charging right up to the 
British positions. The brunt of the defence 
fell upon the llth S.A. Infantry, supported by 
the 12th S.A. Infantry. When the enemy 
withdrew to his own positions he left three 
Europeans and 58 askari dead on the ground, 
and five wounded men. The other wounded 
had been removed. One battalion commander, 
von Kornatzky, was killed, another, von Bock, 
wounded. On the British side the total casualties 
were five killed and 18 wounded. 

In one sense this fight at Kondoa Irangi was 
decisive. It was the first and last time that the 
Germans took the offensive against any large 
part of Gen. Smuts's army. The failure of this 
attack, made in circumstances more favourable 
to the Germans than were likely to recur, 
convinced Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck that the 
only strategy open to him was to act purely 
upon the defensive, to avoid big engagements, 
and thus prolong resistance to the last possible 
moment. For the time being he stayed where he 
was, occasionally bombarding the British camp 
at long range. Van Deventer remained, of neces 
sity, inactive. It was not until nearly the end of 
June that he was able to resume the offensive. 

While Van Deventer' s division was marching 
and fighting the 1st and 3rd Divisions were 
waiting for the rains to cease. The 3rd 
Division was indeed incomplete. The 2nd S.A. 
Mounted Brigade, under Gen. Enslin, only 

reached East Africa in May and was not 
ready to take the field until the latter half of 
June. Sa that when on May 18, the rains 
having abated, Gen. Smuts began another 
advance he had only a division and a half at 
his disposal. Rather less, for the 7th and 8th 
S.A. Infantry Regiments, with artillery and 
machine guns, all from Gen. Beves's brigade of 
the 3rd Division, had been sent to reinforce 
Van Deventer. Thus most of the troops en- 
gaged in the operations now undertaken 
belonged to Gen. Hoskins's Division a divi- 
sion which included some of the best and the 
most experienced and acclimatized troops in 
the field. The following list gives the names 
of the principal troops of the division : 

BRITISH. 2nd Batt. Loyal North Lancashire Rent. : 
2oth Batt. Royal Fusiliers (Legion of Frontiersmen) ; 
2nd Rhodesian Rifles ; Royal Artillery and Engineer 
detachments ; Royal Flying Corps and R.N.A.S. units ; 
R.N. Armoured Car Section ; Armoured Motor Battery 
(A.S.C.) ; East African Mounted Rifles (white settlers in 
B.E.A.) ; Bowker's Horse (Boer settlers in B.E.A.). 

INDIAN. 27th Mountain Battery, 29th Punjabis, 13th 
Rajputs, 61st Pioneers, 101st Grenadiers, 129th and 130th 
Baluchis, 40th Pathans, 5th and 17th Light Infantry, 
and a squadron of the 17th Bengal Lancers. Two 
European Volunteer Maxim Gun Sections and Imperial 
Service Troops from Gwalior, Jhind, Kashmir, Rampur, 

AFRICAN. 3rd and 4th Batts. King's African Rifles. 
(To the 3rd Batt. was added a mounted infantry detach- 
ment composed of 'Somalia, Abyssinians, Arabs, and 
Nandi about 100 strong). East African Scouts 
(Somalia, Masai, etc., under Capt. Barclay Cole), 1st 
Arab Rifles (the force raised by Major Wavell). 

In the operations begun on May 18 the 



immediate object of Gen. Smuts \vivs the dis- 
Indgment of the eneim from tin- Pare and 
inns. That accomplished, il ;'- 
his intention to turn south on a line east of and 
parallel to that followed by Gen. Van Devoiiter, 
liis lirst objective in this southern march being 
llandeni. The great strength, for defensive 
purposes, of the enemy positions in Pare and 
I'samhara has already been indicated. Pare 
and Vsambara are large blocks of highlands 
rising abruptly from the level of the surround- 
ing plateau, the eastern end of Vsambara over- 
looking the coast plain and Tanga. The 

of the British for a period long enough for 
reinforcements to be sent them. In this 
calculation they had omitted two possibilities. 
The (list was that an advance might be made 
along the banks of the Pangani this probably 
was discounted as an impossible task for a 
large force considering the denseness of the 
bush and the. absence of roads. The other 
point they had omitted to provide against 
bespoke an absence of imagination or a dis- 
regard of geographical factors. The Pare 
Mountains are not continuous, but are divided 
into three blocks, separated by easily travers- 




western* sides of both the Usambara and Pare 
mountains are precipitous, and immediately 
at the foot of the hills on this side run the 
high road and railway to Moshi. Farther west . 
separated hy 15 to 20 miles of dense bush, the 
I'angani, in most places and seasons an im- 
passable river, (lows roughly parallel to the 
railway and mountains. The Germans ex- 
peeted Cen. Smuts to follow the line of the 
railway, which they had fortified at all con- 
venient points for 100 miles, and they had good 
reason to suppose that the force Col. Von 
l.ettow-Vorbeck had left along the railway 
whieh though not more than 2,000 strong had 
naval and field guns would bar the progress 
* * 'ru. Smuts wrote " smith, " not "west," in his 
<li-|.itih. From Kalio the general trend of the moun- 
tains i- S.K. mid towards tho railway they face west- 
wards fnr thny-fourths of their length. 

able passes, and a still wider " gap " inter- 
venes between the Pare and Usambara 
mountains. JThese gaps were left practically 
undefended and it was open to Gen. Smuts 
to send forces through them. 

The plan adopted by Cen. Smuts was to 
send the main column (Sheppard's andBeves's 
bris/ades). with most of the artillery and 
transport, down the inner (left) bank of the 
Pangani. A smaller column under Gen. Han- 
nyngton followed the railway, and a third 
column under Lieut-Col. T. O. Fitzgerald, 
3rd K.A.R., starting from Mbuyuni, entered 
the I 'are Mountains on the north-east through 
tli> \gulu Gap. The main column kept, some- 
what ahead of Hannyngton. With his flanks 
thus thrown well forward in the mountains 
and along the Pangani, Gen. Smuts sought to 



convince the enemy that resistance in the 
centre would be hopeless. And he trusted 
to push the operation through before von 
Lettow-Vorbeck could send up reinforcements. 
As he had designed, so it happened, and Gen. 
Smuts carried out his programme " according 
to plan " and to the last letter. Outflanked 
again and again, one strong German position 
after another was abandoned. Only at one 
point, Mikotsheni, where the Pangani river 
sweeping in comes close to the railway and 
the mountains, was a stand attempted. On 
that occasion while the Rhodesians made a 
frontal attack the rest of Gen. Sheppard's 
Brigade made an arduous but successful 
turning movement, and during the night, 
taking with him a 4-1 in. naval and field guns, 
the'enemy retired. This was on May 30, and 
the next day the main body of the enemy left 
the Tanga railway at Monibo and went south 
along the route of the trolley line towards 
Handeni. Usambara, a rich, nourishing and 
healthy district, the district in which were most 
of the German settlements and plantations, 
was almost denuded of defenders. Gen. Smuts 
decided, therefore, to follow the enemy south. 

Col. Fitzgerald's column from Mbuynni had 
done its special work well, and on May 26 had 
joined Gen. Hannyngton. Thereafter the com- 
bined force had crossed the south Pare hills, 
and on June 1 was coining down the Gonja 
Gap between Pare and Usambara. Gem 
Smuts, having removed his main. column, en- 
trusted to Gen. Hannyngton the clearing out of 
the remaining enemy units from Usambara. 
These units retired to Mombo, where there 
was a brisk fight, ending in the defeat and 
retreat of the Germans. During the action 
a company of askari in a trench on a hill, pro- 
tected in front by a thick belt of sisal, was 
holding up a part}' of the 40th Pathans. An 
officer of the 27th Mountain Battery, climbing 
a tree, located the position of the machine gun, 
and a few rounds from two of the battery's 
guns at 1800 yards emptied the enemy trench 
of its occupants, the machine gun passing into 
possession of the British. The German askiiri 
had a special dislike of these mountain guns, 
declaring that they got to places guns ought not 
to be able to reach, and came so close that they 
could not miss their targets. 

Gen. Hannyngton continued to press and to 
outflank the enemy, and another hill position, 
which had been strongly entrenched and could 
only have been taken with considerable loss, 

was abandoned without a fight. On June 12 
Hannyngton occupied Wilhelmstal, the capital 
of Usambara, without opposition, and on 
June 15 he reached Korogwe, from which town 
the railway to Tanga descends to the coat 
plain. The Germans had been very industrious 
in pulling up the railway, destroying bridges 
and " bushing " roads as they retreated, but 
Hannyngton's advance was, nevertheless, so 
rapid that the important road bridge over the 

[Elliiil & Fry. 



Commanded Second East African Brigade. 

Pangani near Korogwe was saved. At this 
point Gen. Smuts instructed Hannyngton to 
abandon his operations in Usambara and 
rejoin the main column, considering it. more 
important to pursue the enemy southward 
than t,o deal with the small enemy forces 
remaining on his left flank. These forces 
afterwards caused a good deal of trouble. 

When the main column of Gen. Smuts left 
the line of the Tanga railway nt Mikotsheni 
a few days were occupied in completing a 
bridge over the Pangani left unfinished by the 
Germans and in cutting roads, but pursuit 
of the enemy was soon resumed. At Mkalamo 
the two main columns were again in touch, and 


////; V7.W/-> ///S7VJ//V OF THK \\'All. 


on June 9 the 1st East African Brigade was 
in action all day. As usual, the Germans 
retired during the night. Followed up across 
a dry belt of 32 miles, they were found to be 
occupying a strongly entrenched position near 
Handeni. While Sheppard's brigade demon- 
strated against the enemy in front, Beves's 
brigade was sent westerly to threaten the 
enemy in the rear. Becoming aware of this 
movement, the Germans evacuated Handeni 
and turned south towards Pongwe. On June 18 
Beves's men, attacking the retreating enemy, 
fought engagements at two places, at Pongwe 
and four miles north thereof. The Germans 
suffered heavy loss, but they succeeded in 
escaping. On June 19 the 5th South African 
Infantry (Col. J. J. Byron) were sent to occupy 
Kangata, eight miles south of Pongwe. They 
" bumped " against an entrenched enemy 
position concealed in dense bush and suffered 
heavy losses. They held on staunchly, how- 
ever, and night witnessed the usual sequel 
the Germans vanished. 

llannyngton. with the greater part of liis 
brigade, arrived at Handeni from Korogwe on 
June 20 in time to take part in a movement 
which (Jen. Smuts hoped would compel the 
enemy to stand. The Germans had retreated 
tn u position on the Lukigura river, where 
the track tn Mrogoro approaches the Nguru 
hills.. ' Gen. Hoskins. with two battalions of 
South African Infantry, a composite battalion 
of Kashmir Imperifl S -rviee Infantry. 2">th 

Royal Fusiliers and a small body of mounted 
scouts, left camp on the night of June 23 and 
the next morning crossed the Lukigura above 
the place where the Germans were entrenched 
and got astride the road behind the enemy 
position. The same morning (June 24) the 
remainder of the 1st Division, under Gen. 
Sheppard, advanced direct to the Lukigura. 
At midday the enemy were engaged by both 
columns, being attacked simultaneously on 
three sides. The Germans after a stout 
resistance managed to get away by the one 
line open to them into the Xguru hills-'. 
In Gen. Smuts's opinion only the denseness of 
the bush, which hid their movements, enabled 
the enemy to escape from complete capture. 
Special distinction was earned in this day's 
fighting by the Kashmiri, and it was a source of 
gratification that Indian Imperial Service 
troops had proved their worth, though not all 
the contingents did as well as the Kashmir 
Rifles.* The 25th Fusiliers (Lt.-Col. D. P. 
Driscoll, D.S.O.) were coupled with the Kash- 
miri for conspicuous bravery on this occasion. 
In this battalion Mr. F. C. Selous, the African 
explorer, held the rank of captain, and he -ei 
a magnificent example to all ranks.f The 

* The Jhind Infantry and the Faridkot Sappers and 
Miner*, among other Imperial Serviee Troops, earned 

il mention. 

tin Septi'intx-i-. I'.MG, Capt. Selmn ua< pvon the 
D.S.O. "for conspienoiis L'lillantry. resource and en- 
durance [he was 64 years old]. The value of his services 
with his hivttalion cnnnot be over-estimated." 



Begun by the Germans and finished by the British. 

German losses at Lukigura were seven whites 
killed and wounded and 14 taken prisoners. 
30 askari killed and many wounded and 
captured. Two machine guns, a pom-pom and 
much ammunition fell into the hands of the 

In the Nguru hills the enemy was reinforced 
from the south by Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck. 
The German positions were very strong, and as 
(ifn. Smuts was in no case immediately to 
continue the pursuit, he formed a large standing 
rj'.mp on the Msiha river, some eight mill's 
b?yond the Lukigura. 

Our transport (wrote Gen. Smuts) had reached t hi- 
nt most radius of its capacity and the troops hud lieen on 
half rations for some time. They also required rest and 
reorganization. Severn! units were reduced to 30 per 
cent, of their original effectives*, owing to the ravage.- of 
malaria, and the difficulties of evacuating the sick were 
as great as those of forwarding supplies and reinforce- 

Since May -- the troops had marched considerably 
over 200 miles in ditlicult country, often having to cut 
their way through almost impenetrable bush, and 
constantly engaging the enemy in his prepared rearguard 
positions. The march was rendered more arduous l>\ 
most serious transport and supply difficulties and. ("or 
the last 80 miles, since leaving the J'angani, frequent 
shortage of water for both men and animals. Ite.-ides, 
I deemed it necessary, in view of the ever-growing supply 
difficulties, to repair and restore the Mnmbn-Ndercmn 
[ Handeni] trolley line before moving farther. 

Additional reasons for the pnusi- at the 
Msiha river were (1) the desirability that 
Van Deventer's division should be farther 

* One unit which -hould have been l.OOil strong was 
reduced H' Ml effective. 

advanced before a combined movement on 
the German forces guarding the Central 
Railway began, and (2) the urgent necessity to 
clear out the enemy posted on the left flank of 
(Jen. Smuts's force. Meantime General Hee,d- 
quarters were established at Handeni. Though 
in the middle of the tropics and only 1,900 feet 
high, Handeni was extraordinarily cool. This 
was agreeable enough for the Europeans, but 
was very trying to the Indian troops. The 
native troops, King's African Rifles, made 
themselves at home. As usual, whenever they 
were halted long enough, they built themselves 
a village of grass huts, with well-laid-out streets, 
pallisades and main gates. In the district 
were many shambas (plimtr.titnis), chiefly of 

Clearing the left flank of (Jen. Smuts meant 
thr reduction of Eastern Usambarn and the 
Coast region from the Anglo-German frontier 
to Bagamoyo. In these operations the naval 
squadron under Bear-Admiral E. V. Charlton, 
C.B., rendered valuable help, while the Govern- 
ment of Zanzibar placed their -tenners at the 
(lis|Ki<!'l of Gen. Smuts. The great IT part tif 

* The largest ot these tliun-ltir* w;is m\ jirit liy Mr. \V. N. 
.McMillan, an American bii. r -gaiue hunter and explorer 
who had become a settler in Hritish East Africa. Mr. 
McMillan served in the British forces, attaining the rank 
<if major. For the benefit of the troops hi 1 maintained, 
i-ntin-ly tit his own expense, two splendidly staffed and 
equipped convalescent homes. Another prominent settler 
in British P^ast Africa who joined the forces was Lord 
Cramvorth; he served in the Hoyal Artillery as a 





















the coast plain is covered with dense jungle, 
the heat is intense, the climate most unhealthy, 
and in this district as few European troops as 
possible were employed. The coast operations, 
subject to the orders of Gen. Edwards, I.G.C., 
were under the command of Col. C. W. Price, 
C.M.G., and were ably carried out. The first 
step taken was to send the 5th Indian Infantry 
across the British border towards Tanga ; a 
small enemy detachment retreated before, them. 
Then a force under Col. Price landed at Kwale 
Bay, eight miles north of Tanga. It arrived 
before that place on July 7, simultaneously with 
the appearance of British warships in the 
harbour. Tanga was occupied practically with- 
out opposition, very interesting information 
being obtained from Gennan sources as to the 
effect of the bombardment of the place in 
November, 1914. The enemy force, about 
200 strong, ejected from Tanga lurked in the 
neighbouring jungle, and, in conjunction will 1 
the force of about the same strength which 
had fled from Hannyngton at Korogwe, began 
to raid the British lines of communication, and 
even, on July 13, made a determined but 
unsuccessful attempt to blow up the road 
bridge at Korogwe. The 5th Indian Infantry 
from Tanga and the 57th Rifles from 
Korogwe completed the occupation of 
(Jsambara. At Amani, the important botani 
cal station in Eastern Usambara, 25 
Europeans surrendered. A detachment of 
Railway Sappers and Miners, Jhind Im- 
perial Service Infantry and other details, 
under Lieut.-Col. C. W. Wilkinson, R.E., on 
July 15 defeated the Korogwe raiders on the 
lower Pangani, capturing a Hotchkiss gun in 
good order. The port of Pangani was occupied 
by the Navy on July 23. Gen. Hannyngton 
was now sent back from the Lukigura to help 
in rounding-up the enemy parties. He followed 
in part the old and practically disused slave 
route from Handeni to Pangani. Elusive as 
ever, most of the Germans succeeded in escaping 
south. They were pursued by Lieut.-Col. 
W. J. Mitchell with a detachment of 40th 
Pathans,a detachment of the Cape Corps (the 
" Cape Boys ") co-operating. The enemy were 
beaten and driven south to Mandera, on the 
lower WiMiii. The small port of Sadani, at the 
mouth of the northern branch of the \Vami, was 
occupied by the Navy on August 1, and here 
a detachment of the West India Regiment 
was landed. Gen. Smuts had already reached 
the conclusion that f nr a campaign which 

threatened to be long drawn increasing use 
would have to be made of African troops, and 
the West India Regiment was but the first 
addition of negro soldiers made to the Expedi- 
tionary Force. The West Indians, the Cape 
Corps and the 40th Pathans between them 
cleared the enemy out of the lower Wami and 
then advanced to Bagamoyo. That once 
famous roadstead opposite Zanzibar, the start- 

Commanded the Second S.A. Infantry Brigade. 

ing point of the greatest explorers of Africa, had 
been eclipsed by the rise of Dar-es-Salaam, but 
was still of some importance. It was captured, 
after a brilliant little operation, by ships of 
Admiral Charlton's squadron on August 15, 
among the booty being one of the Konigsberg's 
4'1 in guns uninjured. With the occupation 
of Bagamoyo, the whole of the area between 
Gen. Smuts's main column and the sea had 
been cleared of the enemy. An additional 
advantage was reaped in that it now became 
possible to shorten the lines of communication. 
The British base, with the help of the Navy, was 
removed from Mombasa to T/inga, a saving of 
75 miles in the voyage from the Cape and from 
200 to 300 miles in rail transport bt-ing thus 

Before the close of these coast operations 
Gen. Smuts had, on August 5, resumed his 
offensive. In the interval Gen. Botha, whose son, 
('apt. I,. Hot hii. wn.< serving under Gen. Smuts, 
paid a visit to East Africa. He stayed a few 
days at headquarters at Handeni and inspected 
the camp on the Msihi river, having the ex- 
perience of coming once again within range 
of the German guns. While the 1st and 3rd 
Divisions had been compulsorily inactive, the 



2nd Division hud kept the enemy in play, 
and when Gn. Smute once more advanced 
Van Deventer was already in possession 
of the middle section of the Central 

His division having rested and been 
strengthened, and the dry season having come. 
Van Deventer on June 24 attacked and carried, 
with small loss, the German position near 
Kondoa Irangi. Von Lettow-Vorbeck had 
already sent part of the Kondoa troops to the 
Nguru mountains to oppose Gen. Smuts, and 
he now fell back eastwards towards Mrogoro. 

under heavy machine-gun fire. Going straight 
for the enemy position Kirkpat rick's men took 
it with a loss of eight killed and nine wounded, 
and on July 31 seized Saranda station on the 
Central Railway, as well as Kilimantinde. seven 
miles farther south. Before Van Deventer's 
main column could move supplies and trans 
ports had to be collected his line of communi- 
cation was still the long trail by Arusha and 
Moshi. But by mid-July Van Deventer was well 
on his way. He divided his column into two 
forces, one, chiefly mounted troops, under 
Brig. -Gen. Mamie Botha, the other, chiefly 

(From a German photograph found on the capture of the town in July, 1916). 

The rapid prom-ess the Belgians were then 
making in the north-west part of the proteeto 
rate rendered it too hazardous for von Let tow - 
Vorbc.-k to go west to Taboni. ; the Ccrm.-m 
I'oree ill, -iv | u ,,l to be left to its fate. Gen. Smuts 
therefore ordered V;:n Deventer to press on to 
the railway at Dodomii, and thence turn east- 
ward to co-operate with the 1st and :!rd 
Divisions Cen. Van I )e\ enter carried out this 
work with great vigour and complete success. 
Small columns under Lieut. -Cols. A. .]. Taylor 
and H..I. Kirkpat rick operated on the right flank. 
Col. Kirkpatrick's column had one sharp action. 
While going through very dense hush, where 
scouting was almost impossible, it. ciune suddenly 

infantry, under Brig. -Gen. Berrange. On 
July '2~> Bel-range's men had a stitlish fight, the 
Armoured Motor Battery (which was com- 
manded by Major Sir John YVilloughby) dis- 
tinuuishing itself by engaging the enemy 
at close range. Four days later Berrange 
sei/.ed the section of the railway at Dodoma. 
Mamie' Botha occupied the water-holes at 
Tissa Kwa Meda on July 22, after ' a 
sharp encounter. " From here." wrote Gen. 
Smuts, "Brig-Gen. Mamie Botha, who had 
rendered great service at the head of this 
(the 1st South African Mounted] Brigade, re- 
turned to the Union of South Africa on private 
business." His place was taken by Brig. -Gen. 




Nussey, who had been Van Deventer's Chief of 
Staff. The brigade reached and occupied the 
railway at Kikombo on July 30. 

Thus by the end of July Van Deventer was 
in possession of 1 00 1 niles of the Central Railway, 
from Kilimantinde on the west to Kikombo 
on the east. Practically every bridge and 
culvert was found to have been blown up, but 
the enemy had not had time for the further 
destruction of the track. By August 9 Van 
Deventer had concentrated his division at 
Njaigalo, east of Dodoma. 


While Van Deventer was coming east Gen. 
Smuts had begun to press the enemy irom the 
north. From his camp at Msiha the road south 
the line of his advance passes for about 415 
miles close beneath the main western mass of 
the Nguru Mountains, with foothills and the 
lofty Kanga Mountain on the east. The 
Germans had a force of some 3,000 rifles, with 
much heavy and light artillery, in the moun- 
tains and athwart the road, which was en- 
trenched along the foothills which it crosses. 
Gen. Smuts decided to clear the mountains by 



THI-: v 7. u /;.<? HISTOBY OF THE w.m. 









wide turning movements. The footpaths and 
tracks which had to be taken were very difficult 
and progress was much hampered by tho 
numerous streams which scored the sides of the 
massif and unite to form the Wami. Of these 
streams the Mdjonga (or Mhonda) flows through 
the broadest valley or gap of the mountains, 
and in this gap was the mission station of 
Mhonda. (Ion. Knslin, who, with the 2nd South 
African Mounted Brigade, entered the mountain 
on August 6, occupied Mhonda on August 8. He 
reported that the route he had followed was 
impracticable for wheeled traffic of any kind, 

but did not succeed in holding them. A small 
party of the enemy, aided by a naval 4' 1 in. gun, 
engaged Enslin's troops, and eventually the 
whole force, taking with them the 4'1 in. gun, 
got away. Sheppard, having worked his way 
through the dense bush round the enemy 
positions on the slopes of Kanga, reached the 
Russonga river on April 12. He found the 
enemy had evacuated the Ruhimgu position. 
Although the " drive " had failed, the Germans 
had been forced to abandon, without firing a 
shot, a position which it would have been very 
costly to capture. The following is a description 



and the transport, which had started to follow 
Enslin, had to be sent back. Of the other 
forces, Hannyngton's Brigade went down the 
Mdjonga valley and Sheppard's Brigade 
traversed the bush on the left (east) flank to get 
behind the main enemy position, which was 
near the main road at Ruhungu. Gen. Brits 
took Beves's Brigade to reinforce Hannyngton, 
who on August 9 had reached Matamondo, 
where one of Enslin's mounted regiments, which 
had lost its way in the mountains, eventually 

There was very stiff fighting at Matamondo 
on August 10 and 11, the British casualties 
amounting to abovit 60 killed and wounded. 
The enemy suffered much more heavily and on 
the night of the llth retreated. Enslin had 
occupied positions on the line of their retreat, 

of the Ruhungu position as seen by Gen. 
Sheppard's force on August 12 : 

Ruhungu, which covered the German right flank, was 
well nigh impregnable, owing to the inability to use 
artillery against it because of tbt <l""-'' tores! nil around. 
The position was very heavily entrenched and so con- 
structed as to obtain an all-round fire. In front of tho 
trenches was a line of sharpened stakes i-ovt-n-d with 
grass, 11 horrible surprise to anyone charging up tho place. 
Tlu- stakes were a foot and a half high. All around wa,J 

August 101. 

On evacuating Ruhungu the bulk of the 
enemy force, falling back towards Mrogoro, 
crossed the Wami at Dakawa and occupied an 
entrenched position on its farther (right) bank, 
breaking down the bridge after they had passed 



The S.A. Pioneers narrowed the gauge of the heavy lorries so that they could run on the railway line. 

over. They were followed by Enslin's Mounted, while a small force under Sheppard 
crossed the river higher up. Both Enslin and 
Sheppard approached Dakawa on August 16, 
a third force, composed of the 6th South African 
Horse, two double companies of Baluchis. a 
South African Infantry Battalion, and part of 
the 27th Mountain Battery, acting with Enslin. 
This third force made for the Dakiwa crossing. 
A belt of thick bush covered their approach, 
but as the Wami was neared the bush gave 
place to open forest, with fairly big trees and 
much tall grass. The German position was 
well sited near the river with several machine 
guns covering the crossing. The enemy was 
in sufficient strength to prevent the crossing 
being seized and at the same time to keep off 
Sheppard's force (not more than 500 rifles), 
which had taken up >\ position about two miles 
from their right flank. 

The action l>egan (wrote a correspondent; with tin- 
advance in the afternoon of the Baluchis and Gth South 
African Horse, who, under a hot rifle fire, got towithin 150 
yards of the river, where they entrenched. Tin- Indian 
mountain artillery, whose observation oHicer was po-teil 
in tin- Baluchi liriiii: line, then opened fire, searching tin- 
enemy trenches lit a raugo of 1,600 yards. The 2nd 
Mounted Brigade came into action on the right, but Hid 

not attempt to eross flu- \\ami. At 7 oYloek the next 
morning, on Baluchi seouts approaching the river hank, 
they uere heavily tired upon. The enemy seem.. I 1,1 
have been reinforced. A little later -in enemy machine 
-un \%;t- -m.'L-hed h\ -hells from the 27th Mountain 
Battery. Fighting at the crossing continued into 
the afternoon. Four armoured cars which, soon 
after midday, boldly advanced almost to the river's 
were nbliued to retire. A German sniper 
wounded the squadron commander. While the de- 
tachment at the hridgi was holding the eneniN 
the Mi, iinted Brigade managed to cross the rivei higher 
up, but it was lute in the afternoon before they go! 
near the enemy. All this time Sheppard's column. 
though unable to advance, hampered the foe, who in the 

night slipped away. The heat was most trying and, 
although the p.ction was fought by a river, there was a 
lack of water. The South Africans especially suffered 
badly from thirst. Our casual! ie- were about 120 all 
told. The enemy losses were certainly double ours. But 
they carried off Ibeir field guns. 

Skilful handling of his forces had again 
extricated the enemy from a difficult position, 
hut lie was still in a tight corner, with Van 
Deventer pressing fast along the line of the 
railway to which he was retreating. On the 
same day that he had concentrated his division 
at Njangalo (August 9) Van Deventer started 
cast. On August 12 he occupied Mpapua ; 
on August 15 and 16 he fought the enemy at 
Kidete station, losing 6 killed and 39 wounded. 
The enemy, outflanked by mounted troops, 
retired, and on August 22 Van Deventer 
entered Kilossa, the garrison of which had 
already got away to Mrogoro. Gen. Van 
Deventer's report to Gen. Si nuts <_n\cs some 
idea of the difficulties overcome in this rapid 
advance, in which the South African troops 
urn- seen at their best : - 

The railway from Kidete to Kilossa for a distance of 
25 mile- follow- :i narrow defile cut through the I'sugara 
mountains by the Alkondokwa river : every yard ot 
advance WHS slohbornly resisted by the enemy. . . . The 
tis.'hting consisted of the enemy receiving our advance 
'.uard with one of several ambushes, then falling back 
on a well-prepared position, and retiring from that on 
to further well-selected ambush places and positions. 
All the -time our less advanced troops were ub- 
|fi '.<! to vigorous shelling by means ot long-range naval 

Since leaving Kondoa Irangi the troops who have 
reached Kilossa by the shortest route have done at least 
220 miles. Owing to bad ronds, shortage of transport 
and the rapidity of advance, the adequate rationing of 
ihe troops was not possible. The underfeeding and over, 
working are sadly reflected in their state of health. 
Regarding the animals of my Division, the advance from 
Mpapua to Kilossa was through one continual fly belt 
where pr.u-t ically all the animals were infected. 



Gen. Smuts now tried, in his own phrase, 
" to bottle the enemy up in Mrogoro." To this 
end Enslin was sent south. He crossed the 
Central Railway west of Mrogoro on August 23 
and the next day occupied Mlali, on the western 
flanks of theUluguru hills, some 15 miles south- 
west of Mrogoro. The 1st Mounted Brigade, 
under Gen. Nussey, was now detached from 
Van Deventer's division to co-operate with 
Enslin. The rest of Van Deventer's division, 
notwithstanding the exhausted condition of the 
infantry, responded gallantly to an appeal by 
Gen. Smuts that they should block the enemy 
line of retreat still farther to the south-wist. 
Crossing a series of mountain ridges, all 
entrenched, and at each of which the enemy 
fought retarding actions, they reached Kidodi, 
on the Ruaha river, on September 10 a 
remarkably fine performance. Gen. Smuts 
was specially concerned to bar this route as 
he had learned that, if driven from Mrogoro, it 
was. Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck's intention to 
retire by it to Mahenge, a Government station 
on a healthy plateau which lies midway 
between Mrogoro and Lake Nyasa. 

Having made dispositions to guard against 

von Lettow-Vorbeck's escape, the troops on 
the VVami began the march to Mrogoro on 
August 23. Gen. Smuts first moved back along 
the Wami for nine miles, striking thence across 
a waterless belt of some 25 miles to the 
Ngerengere. The dense bush, the heat and 
the absence of water made this march, which 
lasted two days, one of the most trying of the 
whole campaign. It served its purpose, for, 
misled by Enslin's movement farther west, 
the enemy had massed his troops on the direct 
road between Mrogoro and Dakawa. The 
German commander -in-chief had been at 
Mrogoro for some weeks. There also was the 
Governor, Dr. Schnce, and the administrative 
headquarters. By August 24 von Lettow- 
Vorbeck realized that not only was it impossible 
to hold the place any longer but that unless he 
retreated immediately the decisive engagement 
it was his object to avoid would have to be 
fought. Calling back his forces from the 
Dakawa road, he hurriedly evacuated Mrogoro 
(taking Dr. Schnee with him), leaving the town 
by a track which went due south through the 
Uluguru mountains. Gen. Smuts did not 
know that this track existed until on August 20 




A sketch made on the spot. A mountain battery gun less than 200 yards fro.n the enemy's trenches. 



the brigades of Gens. Sheppard and Beves 
entered Mrogoro. Then it was seen tluvt t In- 
elaborate arrangements mode to guard the 
Hunks of the mountains Hannyngton was now 
moving fast of I'luguru had proved vain. 
The enemy hud once more got away. 

Although his troops and animals were " worn 
out" and his transport had reached "its 
extreme radius of action," Gen. Smuts decided 
upon immediate pursuit of the enemy. After 
six weeks of most arduous fighting the Gennans 
were driven from the Uluguru mountains. They 
evacuated Kiss-aki. their last and chief strong- 
hold in those mountains, on September 15. 
having previously abandoned two naval guns 

conducted the coast operations farther north, 
had about 2.<OO troops at Bagamoyo Indians. 
( 'ape Boys and West Indians. He divided them 
into two columns. While one column marched 
along the const, the other took a more inland 
route so as to approach Dar-es-Salaam from t In- 
east. Neither column met with serious opposi- 
tion. The Germans had determined not to 
defend Dar-es-Salaam, where they had gathered 
a large number of European non-combatants. 
Simultaneously with the appearance of Col. 
I'rice before Dar-es-Salaam British warships 
entered the harbour and the town was ceremoni- 
ously occupied on September 4. The garrison 
had retired south some days previously, tjvking 


and very large quantities of heavy-gun am- 
munition. Part of the German force escaped 
to Mahengf, but the main body, with von 
Lettou-Vorbeck and Dr. Schnee, took up 
defensive positions towards the coast and 
stretching from the Mgetn river to south of the 

Rufiji. It was now mid-September, and Gen. 

Smuts's Army as so exhausted and worn out 
for weeks it had been on half rations or less 
that a thorough rest wus imperatively iieeessni-\ . 
on medical as w-ell as military grounds. Km- 
the time being offensive operations ceased. 

Concurrently with the advance of the British 
main forces in August, operations were under- 
taken to clear the coast plain between Baga- 
moyo and Dar-es-Salaain. Col. Price, who had 

with them their artillery, except, one li-in. gun. 
which was blown tip. The harbour works and 
the railway station had also been effectively 
destroyed. Many of the German locomotives 
were run into the sen. 

In seven months, March-September, 1916, 
Gen. Smuts had reduced the strength of the 
enemy opposed to him by two-thirds and had 
occupied the whole of the north-eastern part of 
German East Africa, including the chief areas 
of European settlement Kilimanjaro-Mem. 
Usambara, Handeni and Mrogoro. Concur- 
rently Belgian forces under Maj.-Gen. Tombeur 
had conquered the north-west part of the 
German protectorate. The two main Belgian 
columns, which were commanded respectively 








by Cols. Olsen and Molitor, invaded German 
territory north and south of Lake Kivu in April. 
Col. Molitor, who struck south-east, was aided 
by a Lake Column sent by Gen. Smuts to the 
Victoria Nyanza and commanded by Brig. -Gen. 
Sir Charles Crewe. Col. Olsen's column, 
marching down the north-east shores of Tangan- 
yika, occupied Ujiji and Kigoma, the lake 
terminus of the Central Railway, early in 
August, Belgian. gunboats and seaplanes assist- 
ing. Thereafter the Olsen, Molitor and Crewe 
columns advanced on Tabora, the chief town in 
the western part of German East Africa. It 
WHS occupied by the Belgians in September 
after stubborn fighting. The one section of the 
railway left in German hands, that between 
Tabora and Kilimantinde, was seized by Sir 

Charles Crewe's column. By the end of 
September the Central Railway and the 
whole of the German protectorate north of 
the line had passed into the possession of the 

Gen. Northey's Nyasaland and Rhodesia 
columns had also achieved noteworthy suc- 
cesses. Between May and September they 
conquered the south-western part of German 
East Africa, and after the capture of Tabora 
and Mrogoro they played an increasingly 
important part in the operations. The story of 
the campaign in, the western part of German 
East Africa, of the fighting in the Mahonge 
and Rufiji districts and of the Portuguese 
operations in the south is reserved for treatment 
In a subsequent chapter. 





WITH the fall of Bukarest on Decem- 
ber 6, 1916, opens the last stage 
of the enemy advance in Rumania. 
The Rumanian theatre of war 
remained as yet divided into three distinct 
parts, which may be described as the Moldavian, 
the Wallachian, and the Dobrudja fronts. 

Along the Moldavian border the opposing 
forces were still facing each other in approxi- 
mately the same positions as had been reached 
by the Rumanian Fourth Army under Gen. 
Presan about the middle of October, 1916, 
but by the end of November hardly any 
Rumanian units were left in that sector, their 
place having been taken by two Russian armies 
under Generals Kaledin and Lechitsky, the 
conquerors of Lutsk and Czernowitz the main 
craftsmen of the Russian victory in the summer 
of 1916. The enemy forces in this area were 
comprised in two Austro-Hungarian armies, 
the Seventh under Gen. Kovess von Kovess- 
haza in the north, and the First under Gen. Arz 
von Straussenberg in the south ; these two 
commanders, both natives of Transylvania, 
were among the few Austro-Hungarian generals 
whose reputation was not lost in the disasters 
which the Hapsburg Monarchy had suffered on 
Vol. XII. Part 147. 

the Russian front during the preceding summer. 
Besides Austro-Hungarian troops their armies 
contained a fair number of German units, among 
others a group of divisions under Gen. von Gerok. 
The supreme enemy command was nominally in 
the hands of Archduke Joseph, a blue-blooded 
nonentity. When on November 22 Archduke 
Charles Francis Joseph had succeeded his 
great-uncle as Emperor of Austria and King of 
Hungary, Archduke Joseph, a member of the 
so-called Hungarian branch of the Hapsburgs, 
was appointed to the command on the Tran- 
sylvanian front. 

In the centre, in the Wallachian^ plain, the 
enemy armies were predominantly German, 
and remained entirely under German command. 
Here Field-Marshal von Mackensen personally 
supervised the operations; it was he with 
whom rested in reality the supreme enemy 
command in the entire Rumanian theatre of 
war, from Dorna Vatra to the Black Sea. By 
December 6 the entire Wallachian front had 
been reduced to about 75 miles. Within this 
sector operated two armies : the Ninth German 
Army under Gen. von Falkenhayn, which in 
November had been scattered along the entire 
northern border of Wallachia from the Vulcan 




Mountains to the Buzeu Pass, on a front of 
about 150 miles, and the so-called army of the 
Danube under Gen. von Kosch. The Ninth 
Army presented the strongest concentration 
of forces within the entire Rumanian theatre 
of war ; it included the army groups of Generals 
von Kuhne, Krafft von Delmensingen and von 
Morgen and the Cavalry Corps of Count 
Schmettow. The army of t he Danube consisted 


Commanded the First Austro-Hungarian Aimy 

on the Moldavian Border. 

of German, Bulgarian and Turkish divisions, 
and was to be further reinforced in its advance 
along the Danube ; it gathered in the forces 
which had been detailed to guard the river-line, 
whilst the northern bank had still been in the 
possession of the Russian and Rumanian forces. 
On the side of our Allies, following <>n the battle 
of the Argesh, most of the worn-out Rumanian 
units were withdrawn behind the front, 
tn be reorganised under the leadership of 
Generals Averescu and Presan. They were 
replaced by fresh Russian troops, and thus 
the Rumanian theatre of war gradually changed 
into a fourth division of the Russian front 
(the other three were the northern sector on 
the Dvina under Gen. Ruzsky, the centre 
in Lithuania under Gen. Evert, and the original 
southern front in Volhynia and Galicia under 
(Jen. Brusiloff). In January, 1917. Gen. Gurko, 

who had greatly distinguished himself during 
the autumn fighting in Volhynia, was put in 
supreme command of all the Allied forces in the 
Rumanian theatre of war. 

In "the Dobrudja the Allied forces under the 
Russian General Sakharoff were still facing 
the Third Bulgarian Army under Gen. Nerizoff 
on a line extending 10 to 15 miles north of the 
Cernavoda-Constanza railway. These positions 
had been reached by the Russian counter- 
offensive about the middle of November ; then 
the fatal breakdown in the Jiu Valley made 
Wallachia the centre of events. 

Wallachia remained the centre also after 
the fall of Bukarest. The initiative was 
entirely with the enemy, and all the efforts 
and skill of the Russian generals and all the 
tenacity of the Russian peasant-soldier could 
not counterbalance the omissions of the 
thoroughly disorganised and incompetent 
sometimes even criminally incompetent 
Government system of Russia's ancien rtgime. 
Half of the reinforcements which Russia sent 
to Rumania in December, 1916, if afforded two 
months earlier when the weakness and failings 
of the Rumanian army organisation and the 


Commanded the Seventh Austro-Hungarian Army 
on the Moldavian Border. 

overpowering strength of the enemy had already 
become patent to the whole world might 
have saved the situation. Now the invasion 
could not be arrested, not even after the 
eastern base of the Wallachian salient had been 

After the battle of the Argesh the enemy 
advance in the centre had brought the Wal- 
lachian front into line with the western border 



of Moldavia ; they joined into a practically 
straight line extending from Dorna Vatra, at 
the farthest north-western end of Moldavia, to 
Oltenitza on the Danube, and at right angles 
to that river. From Oltenitza to a short 
distance north of Cernavoda the Danube inter- 
vened between -the opposing forces, on a line 
running to the east with a slight but increasing 
curve to the north. In the Dobrudja the front 
extended due east and west. 

The further enemy advance in Wallachia 
had to be a wheel pivoting on south-eastern 
Transylvania, and sweeping across the low- 
lands in the big bend of the Danube between 
Oltenitza and Braila. The ultimate objective 
set in that wheel to the two German armies in 
the centre was the narrow sector between 
Focshani and Braila, in front of the Sereth line. 
The right enemy wing in the Dobrudja was 
meantime to complete the conquest of that 
province, support the operations- on the left 
bank of the Danube, and finally to turn the 
line of the Sereth by crossing the Danube below 
Galatz and invading Bessarabia. The Austro- 
Hungarian armies on the left wing were to 
force, through the valleys of the Bistritsa, the 
Trotus and other minor mountain streams, a 
descent into the valley of the Sereth and 
against the Dorohoi-Bacau-Focshani railway. 
In the centre the two German armies, a new 
phalanx directed against a sector which towards 
the close of the campaign measured only about 

50 miles, were to continue to make the pace in 
the offensive ; the line on which their advance 
was finally arrested marked only the minimum 
of the German strategic aims. 

But for the Russian command the line along 
the northern Moldavian border, bending back 
past Ocna and Maraseshti to the lower Sereth, 
and along the Danube from Galatz to the Black 
Sea, meant the maximum withdrawal com- 
patible with the safety of their Galician front. 
Had the line of the lower Sereth been turned 
or broken through, or had the railway line in 
the upper and middle Sereth Valley been any- 
where reached by the enemy, our Allies' would 
have had to evacuate Moldavia and retire on 
to the line of the Pruth. This movement, by 
uncovering the Bukovinian flank, would have 
necessitated also a retreat from the Carpathian 
front between the Jablonitsa and Dorna 
Vatra, in south-eastern Galicia and in the 
Bukovina. The Russians would have had to 
abandon the wide belt of land south of the 
Dniester which the brilliant victories of General 
Lechitsky had gained for them in June and 
July, 1916. Not merely strategically but 
even in territory they would have lost most 
of the fruits of the preceding summer campaign. 
The enemy would have regained the important 
railway line at the northern foot of the Car- 
pathians, the object of so many offensives and 
counter-offensives during the two year.-? 1914- 
1910. The Rumanian campaign would have 





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resulted in a marked enemy recovery in t lie- 
entire southern half of the Eastern front. It 
was therefore with the utmost tenacity that the 
Russians continued to hold the lino from Dorna 
Vatra to the Odobeshti Mountains, and here, on 
a front of about 150 miles, during a campaign 
of three months, which was marked by very 
considerable advances in every other part of 
the Rumanian theatre of war, the enemy never 
succeeded in breaking anywhere through the 
Allied defences or in gaining anything but 
small local advantages usually fully counter- 

the fighting fell. Two river lines intervene 
between the Argesh and the Rimnic Sarat- 
Braila front, the Jalomitsa and the Calmatuiul, 
whilst the Buzeu, running in its lower course 
in a north-easterly direction, covers the western 
flank of the positions round Braila. In their 
lower courses these rivers form serious obstacles 
to military operations, but each of them 
was forced in its upper course by the German 
advance along the Ploeshti-Focshani railway. 
The distance from Ploeshti to the Buzeu River 
amounts to only 40 miles, and on December 14, 


balanced by similar successes attained by the 

During the wheel which carried the enemy 
forces from the Ploeshti-Bukarest to the 
Rimnic Sarat-Braila front, the main body of 
the Ninth Army followed the railway which 
runs from Ploeshti, past Buzeu and Rimnic 
Sarat to Focshani, whilst the army of the 
Danube advanced parallel to it, along the outer 
circle, against the corner between the Sereth 
and the Danube. The distance covered by the 
troops of Gen. von Kosch was on the average 
about twice that traversed by the Ninth Army, 
but it was on the latter that the main brunt of 

eight days after the fall of Bukarost, the 
enemy crossed it east of the town of Buzeu. 
The road was now practically open for an 
advance of the Army of the Danube aga ; nst 
Braila. In this advance the troops of General von 
Kosch were still further helped by strong Bul- 
garian detachments crossing, on December 8. the 
Danube at Calarashi (opposite Silistria), and at 
Feteshti (at the Wallachian end of the Cernavoda 
bridge). The Army of the Danube could sweep 
on against the Jalomitsa, leaving to the Bul- 
garians the task of clearing the Baragan steppe. 

On November 28 the whole of the Campolung- 
Piteshti railway line, which runs about 30 to 40 




miles west of the Predeal-Ploeshti railway, was 
as yet in the hands of our Allies. A week 
later, whilst the Rumanian forces in the 
Prahova valley were still offering stubborn 
resistance to the enemy pressure from the north 
in the district round Sinwa, the forces of Gen. 
von Falkenhayn were already approaching 
the outskirts of Ploeshti. The line of retreat 
through the Prahova valley was cut. " The 
pursuit of the Rumanians across the Bukarest- 
Ploeshti line," announced the Austrian official 
report of December 8, " is proceeding rapidly. 
The enemy retreating from the Predeal and 
Alt-Schanz passes has already found his retreat 
barred by Austro-Hungarian and German 
troops. The majority of them were captured 
yesterday by the Ninth Army, and numbered 
about 10,000 men." 

The same story, only worded differently, 
wiis told by the German communique of the 
SIM i day, except that the round and impressive 
figure of 10,000 prisoners covered in it all the 
ruptures effected by the Ninth Army on 
December 7, and not merely those in the 
I'rahova and the Dostaia valleys. As a 
matter of fact neither version was true. The 
bulk of the Rumanian troops which had held 
the passes north of Ploeshti succeeded in 
effecting their retreat to the east, across the 
mountains, whilst Rumanian and Russian 
forces were holding up the main forces of 
Gen., von Falkenhayn east of Ploeshti. " The 

German reports giving the impression that 
they had captured the Predeal Army at the 
end of November " (O.S., i.e., the beginning 
of December), wrote the correspondent of 
The Times with the Rumanian Army under 
date of January 8, " reached here only yester- 
day. I witnessed personally the retreat of tho 
whole Army under the command of Gen. 
Averescu, now commanding the Rumanian 
Armies. As soon as the hope of saving Bukarest 
was abandoned a retreat from the Carpathians 
was ordered, and the troops withdrew slowly, 
keeping contact all the time with the enemy. 
The artillery maintained the position, firing 
at the enemy until the infantry had succeeded 
in getting awfty, but the guns, after being 
destroyed, were lost. The rearguards, which 
fought very bravely, had also to be sacrificed. 

' ' The Predeal Army then joined the remainder 
of the Bukarest divisions, and with them offered 
the first organized resistance to the enemy south 
of Buzeu. Divisions of these much-tried troops 
;ire still fighting at the front." 

Some 10 miles west of Ploeshti the Rumanian 
rearguards supported by the Russians suc- 
ceeded in arresting for a while the enemy 
advance on the line of the Cricovul River. 
It was not until after the Germans had turned 
these positions from the north by an advance 
across the mountains against Cislau, in the 
Buzeu Valley, that our Allies withdrew on 
December 9 in the direction of Mizil. After 



another three days of fighting, Mizil also was 
abandoned. On the same day the right wing 
of the Ninth German Army crossed the River 
Jalomitsa at Receauu ; the Army of the Danube 
crossed at Urziceni ; the cavalry from Gen. 
von Kosch's army had crossed at Copiza on 
December 10. On December 14 the enemy 
captured the town of Buzeu, the important 
junction of the railways from Ploeshti, Cerna- 
voda, Braila, Focshani, and of the line which runs 
up the Buzeu river towards the Buzeu Pass. 
On December 15 and 16 severe fighting deve- 

loped for the crossings of the Buzeu both north 
and south-east of the town, and in the Cal- 
matuiul lowlands, south of the Buzeu. On 
the next day the Buzeu was crossed by the 
Ninth Army on a broad front, whilst the Army 
of the Danube forced a passage over the Lower 
Calmatuiul, south of Filipeshti. The forces 
of our Allies were now retiring in two directions, 
the Rumanians mainly on Rimnic Sarat, where 
Russian reinforcements were awaiting them, 
the Russians towards Braila. 

The retreat across the Lower Jalomitsa 





resulted naturally in a corresponding with- 
drawal in the Dobrudja. On December 14 
General Sakharoff's troops evacuated the 
positions which they had held since about 
the middle of November, and reached on 
the next day the Hirshova-Cartal-Cogelac line, 
some 10 miles north of their previous front. 
It was decided to abandon practically the 
whole of the Dobrudja ; the movement was 
carried out with comparatively small losses, and 
much of the time even out of touch with the 
enemy. On December 17 the Russians crossed 
the Babadag-Pecineaga line, some 30-35 miles 

north of their original front. The next day 
Bulgarian cavalry entered the town of Babadag. 
On a line extending from Turcoia on the 
Danube to Hangearca, and then along the 
River Taita to Lake Babadag (north-east 
of the town), the Russian rearguard, consisting 
largely of Cossack cavalry, for the first time 
during the retreat offered serious resistance. 
On December 19 fighting " attaining more 
than average intensity " was reported from 
the district of Cerria, on the Russian right 
wing, and on the next day some serious en- 
counters took place in the centre round Bala- 
bancia and Bachkioi between the Third Cossack 
and the Fourth Bulgarian Infantry Divisions. 
Soon the battle extended across the whole 
of the Dobrudja tront. " The enemy, with 
superior forces, attacked our detachments 
along the whole front," says the Russian 
official communiqu6 of December 22. " After 
a stubborn resistance our detachments com- 
menced to withdraw northwards. By a daring 
attack of one of our regiments, the Bulgarians, 
who advanced east of Lake Babadag from th 
village of Enisala, were thrown into Lake 
Ibolota. The greater part of them were 
drowned. . . ." On December 23 the left 
Russian wing was withdrawn over the Lower 
Danube across pontoon-bridges which had 


On Christmas Eve the children go singing from house to house, carrying a paper star lighted from 

behind by a candle. 



been constructed there in September, 1916, at 
Tulcea and Isaccea. The Russian forces 
remaining in the Dobrudja were concentrated 
on the line Rachel-Greci, in front of Macin. 

On Christmas Eve the enemy entered in 
force the town of Tulcea, 'one of the most 
important commercial centres in the Dobrudja. 
Inhabited by Rumanians, Russians, Jews, 
Tartars, Armenians and Greeks, it lies opposite 
the Bessarabian town of Ismail, the first 
important settlement on the Danube, on the 
western fringe of its Delta, which from now 
onwards was to separate on a wide front the 
opposing armies. 

In the district of Tulcea the Danube divides 
into three main branches : the Kilia arm which, 
in the north, forms the frontier between the 
Russian province of Bessarabia and the 
Rumanian Dobrudja ; the Sulina canal, opened 
some time since to navigation, by dredging 
and the removal of the sand bars ; and the 
St. George's canal, which, down to Dunabet, 
forms the southern border of the .Delta. At 
certain periods, especially between April and 
the middle of July, the wide country enclosed 
by these rivers and measuring about 1,500 
square miles changes into an enormous lake 
only few islands stand above the flood ; at 
other times, in the dry season, wide fields and 
meadows emerge, covered with magnificently 
rich growth, though big lakes and numerous 
rivers still remind one of the waters which claim 
this land in their own season. For ages the 


Delta of the Danube remained practically 
unexplored ; current theories described it as 
a swamp and enterprising capitalists planned 
its drainage. At present the best authorities 
consider it an inland lake, traversed by ridges 
and causeways which divide it into many 
separate basins ; most of its bottom sinks 
below the surface of the Black Sea hence 
all ideas of draining it have to be dismissed 
as impracticable. 

The extraordinary life of the Delta, where 
plants as well as animals have had to develop 
a new type adjusted to the regular interchange 
of floods and dry seasons, has found its recorder 
in the distinguished Director of the Museum 
of Natural History in Bukarest, Dr. G. Antipa. 
His descriptions read like bits of a new " Jungle 
Book " ; here is the paradise of animals, where 
man alone can find no permanent footing. 
The amount of dry land in the Delta is very 
small at all seasons, but the more or less solid 
surface is very much enlarged by a peculiar 
growth of water plants called " plaur " which 
form wide, strong mats, sometimes more than 
three feet thick whole islands inhabitable by 
animals and even by enterprising men. Fisher- 
men build on them their huts of reeds, and 
animals find safe refuge from the rising waters. 
Most of them, even the wolves, the foxes, 
the wild oxen and pigs in the Delta, know 
how to swim, and they all better than men 
recognise the time when they have to make 
for safety. When the mice and rats gather on 




higher ground it is a sure sign that the waters 
.will soon be rising. Only the hares have not 
learned the art of swimming, but when the 
floods come run for their life. The crowns of 
the-magnificent willow-trees which cover wide 
stretches of land in the Delta are a peculiar 
place of refuge. Even wolves and foxes 
can sometimes be found seeking safety in the 
willow-trees (the usual haunt of the wild cat) 
gnawing the young shoots ; if the flood lasts 
long they die of starvation. This is the land 
where the story of Noah's Ark is -repented 
every year in tens of thousands of places ; 
where, indeed, animals, mammalia, us well as 
birds, have their permanent arks against 
men. It is their own land, their exclusive 
land. Fish also abound, and when man makes 
occasional preying inroads into this region 
it pays him well to do so. Especially during 
high floods fish gather in the Delta to live on 
its rank plants. It is recorded that in 1907-8 : 
when at Braila the river had risen almost 20 feet 
iiliove the usual level, 13 million pounds of 
fish were caught in the Delta. 

In exceptionally cold winters the Delta 
Iree/.es, and again its life enters on a new 
phase. But when in spring the ice breaks it 
sometimes tears off anil carries away with it th" 
banks of reds, the " plaurs," which change 
into swimming islands, and by their removal 

it transforms the face of the landscape. Only 
during the most severe frost does the Delta 
admit free movements of men across- its 
lands, but no such frost came in the winter of 
1916-7, until after the winter campaign had 
practically closed. The Delta was saved from 

By December 17 the two German armies 
which operated between the Carpathians and 
the Danube reached a line extending from 
Slobodia, on the Calnan, a left-hand tributary 
of the Buzeu, past Pirlitzi to Vishani, some 25 
miVs east of the town of Bu/.eii ; then south of 
the Buzeu River, past Filipeshti and Viziru to 
the Danube. The positions on this line ran 
about 15 to 30 miles in front of Rimnic Sarat 
and Braila, covering these last two \\allaehian 
towns still in the possession of our Allies. The 
sector before Braila was the best protected 
and fortified part of the line, and the enemy, 
therefore, did not attempt a frontal attack 
against it, but began his alvance by move- 
ments on both its flanks; in tin- Dobrudja 
by closing in against Macin, in the west by an 
offensive against Himnic Sarat. The first 
; tieinpts in the latter direction having met with 
determined resistance, the enemy paused for 
a few days, only to resume the attack with, 
bigger forces on December 22. A battle then 



followed which lasted five days and was fought 
on a front extending over some 30 miles. The 
main attack against Rimnic Sarat was carried 
out from two directions. On the left wing of 
the Ninth German Army, the group of Gen. 
Krafft von Delmensingen, comprising the Ger- 
man Alpine Corps, advanced from west to east 
against the Calnau line in front of Racovitseni, 
whilst, on the right wing, the attack proceeded 
from south to north, from Pirlitzi and Balaceanu 

against Zoita. On December 23 the enemy 
captured the villages of Ardrecest; and Pinten- 
cani, Heights 60 and 69 and the village of 
Balaceanu. The next day violent artillery 
fire was reported from this part of the front, 
and also from the CUlnau. The Gernitn 
superiority in artillery was again telling 
against our Allies. " The enemy fire was 
particularly fierce to the north ot the Buzeu- 
Rimnic road," reports the official Russian 





communique of December 2">, "whore ho 
launched attacks and captured a height south 
of Racovitseni. Our troops counter-attacked 
and dislodged the enemy from this height, but 
our detachments soon abandoned it again, as 
flu- enemy was sweeping it with shells." On 
the next day the front was .extended still 
farther to the north, to the sources of the 
river Kimnic, north-west of the town. The 
Alpine Corps had established contact with the 
Army Group of Gen. von Gorok on the extreme 
right wing of the First Austro-Hungarian Army. 
On December 26 fighting round Rimnic Sarat 
reached its culminating point. The German 
forces succeeded in breaking through the 
tenaciously defended positions of the Russians 
on a front of 10 miles and in. capturing the 
villages of Pardosi, Costieni and Zoita, the last 
only about seven miles south of the town of 
Rimnic. During the night of December 26-27 
our Allies took up new positions on the heights 
north-west of Zoita, and the next day was 
marked by a swaying battle, which finished, 
however, in a further Russian withdrawal. 
" After a stubborn resistance," says the official 
Russian communique of December 28, " our 
detachments were pressed back by superior 
hostile forces on the sector near the railway 
in the region of Rimnic Sarat and were obliged 
to withdraw as far as the River Rimnic." 

After severe street fighting the town itself was 
' evacuated. The enemy claimed to have 
captured during the five days of fighting in 
front of Rimnic Sarat 10,220 prisoners. 

It was not until after the Ninth Army had 
gained a considerable stretch of ground beyond 
the Buzeu that the Army of the Danube 
resumed, on Christinas Day, its advance 
against the Vishani-Viziru front. German 
divisions reinforced by the Austro-Hungarian 
group of Colonel Szivo formed the main attack- 
ing force ; the Turks a-nd Bulgarians held the 
eastern part of the line, near the Danube. 
" Throughout the day the enemy was attacking 
witli considerable forces on the Filipeshti- 
Lisconteanca front," reports the Russian 
communique of December 26, " but was re- 
pulsed with heavy losses. The fighting was 
especially fierce in the village of Filipeshti, 
which, having been set on fire by enemy artillery, 
was evacuated by us." Also Height 55 was 
abandoned, but the railway station of Fili- 
peshti remained in the hands of our Allies. 
During the next two days no further operations 
on a large scale were undertaken by the troops 
of General von Kosch. They were awaiting 
the results of the battle round Rimnic Sarat. 
With the withdrawal beyond the River Rimnic, 
the positions in the lake district on the eastern 
bank of the Buzeu, round Satucu, S'obndia, 




Photographed on thei 

and Balta Alba (" White Lake ") had also to be 
abandoned. The right flank and rear of the 
Russian troops on the Filipeshti-Vizim line was 
thereby uncovered and a retreat in that sector 
could no longer be avoided. It began on 
December 28 and was carried out in perfect 
order. During the next two days the threatened 
right wing of the forces fighting in front of 
Braila, between the Buzeu and the Danube, 
was withdrawn from Filipeshti to the Suceshti- 
Janca-Perichora line, the centre and left wing 
standing firm at Bordeia Verde and Viziru. 
In the battles fought in that district a detach- 
ment of British armoured motor-cars greatly 
distinguished themselves. " Its gallant com- 
mander," reported the Russian communiqui of 
December 28, " was wounded during the battle 
of December 26, when repulsing the enemy 
attacks. Nevertheless, on the 27th, he again 
directed the operations of his detachment, and 
put the enemy to flight." 

It was by threatening a flank attack from the 
Dobrudja that Mackensen forced the Russians 
to abandon their positions south of Braila. By 
December 29 the Russian forces in the Dobrudja 
had withdrawn on to a narrow front round 
Macin 'and taken up positions on the range of 
wooded hills which surround the town from the 
south-east ; their line extended from Height 90 
near the village of Greci, across Heights 161, 
364, and 197 to the village of Luncavitsa. On 
December 30 the Fourth Bulgarian Division 
opened its attack against the centre of the 
Russian positions ; the next day Bulgarian 

r way to Rumania. 

units captured Height 161, a German regiment 
Height 90. On New Year's Day, 1917, Hill 
197 and Luncavitsa were lost, and the Russians 
retired on to their last defensive line extending 
from Macin, past Jijila, to Hill .108, in front of 

The strategic importance of Macin and 
Vacareni is due to the narrowing up of the bed 
of the Danube in that region. North of 
Hirshova the Danube divides into two main 
branches. The belt of land between them, 
which is, on the average, about 10 miles wide, 
is traversed by numerous minor branches of 
the river and covered with lakes and swamps. 
Not a single road or track crosses this marshy 
waste, which forms a perfect barrier to any 
military operations. Some 40 miles below 
Hirshova the right arm of the Danube turns 
at a straight angle to the west and rejoins the 
other arm opposite the town of .Braila. At 
the point where the right arm turns to the west , 
and at a distance of six miles from Braila, lies 
Macin. A good high-road accompanies the 
river-arm to its junction opposite Braila 
and then follows the right bank of the Danube 
as far as Pistra, opposite Reni. It is joined 
in the corner, facing Galatz, by another high- 
road which runs along a natural causeway 
from Vacareni. It is most misleading to 
describe either Macin or Vacareni as bridge- 
heads, as the enemy Press used to do for pur- 
poses of propaganda. There were no bridges 
across the Danube, which at Braila and Galatz 
is some 800 yards wide : merely owing to the 




configuration of the country access could be 
gained to the river bank. Here, as nowhere 
else, below Hirshova was it possible to threaten 
from the Dobrudja the Danube flank of the 
Russian armies. 

Yet, however important the Macin positions 
were for the defence of Brail a, it would have 
been extremely risky to detail any considerable 
forces for their defences where the lines of 
retreat were so few and so narrow. The com- 
plete evacuation of the Dobrudja, and therefore 
also the evacuation of Braila, were now merely 
a question of days. On January 2 Height 108 
was abandoned, and the next day Jijila was 
lost after severe bayonet fighting in its streets. 
On January 4 German, Bulgarian and Turkish 
troops entered the town of Macin. Part of 
the Russian troops had withdrawn across the 
Danube to Braila, the rest towards Vacareni. 
On January 5 at dawn two Bulgarian regiments 
launched fierce attacks against the last Russian 
rearguards holding Vacareni. " Our detach- 
ments fought a stubborn battle throughout the 
day with superior forces, inflicting great losses 
on the enemy. Towards the evening we were 
compelled to commence a withdrawal to the 
other bank of the Danube." The last Allied 
troops had left the Dobrudja. From Mount 
Orliga, which rises on the bank of the Danube 
between Macin and Jijila, about 350 feet above 
the river, German artillery opened fire against 


The army of General Sakharoff in the Do- 
brudja must have consisted, about the ir.iddle of 
December, 1916, of some four army corps and 
a few cavalry divisions. Its retreat was carried 
out across rugged, wooded hills, traversed only 
by a few roads of inferior quality, and finally 
across one of the biggest rivers in Europe. The 
Sofia official report of January 6 claims that 
during this retreat 37 officers, 6,000 men, 16 
guns and 36 machine guns had been taken from 
the Russians. Even if it were to be assumed 
that for once the Bulgarians failed to round off 
their figures, the losses are extraordinarily 
small and bear witness to the character of the 
retreat and the skill of its leadership. 

After the fall of Macin the positions in front 
of Braila had to be evacuated. On January 3-4 
a battle was fought between the Russian 
rearguards and German and Austro-Hungarian 
regiments in the district of Gurgueti and Ro- 
manul ; on the night of January 4 the Russians 
withdrew across the Sereth, and the next day 
the Germans and Bulgarians entered Braila 
both from the west and the east, i.e., from 
Macin. Braila, with a population of 60,000, 
is the fourth town in Rumania. It is a purely 
commercial town, being the headquarters of 
the grain trade and the chief port of entry into 
Wallachia. Its prosperity dates from about 
half a century ago, when the navigation of the 
Danube was enormously improved by the 
measures taken by the European Commission 



set up for that purpose under the Treaty of 
Paris. As a result British steamers of 4,000 
tons before the war went up to Braila and un- 
loaded at its wharves. British shipping, indeed, 
is of more importance to Braila than that of 
any other country. The town has large grain 
ilevators, docks, and warehouses. But of its 
stores, of its factories and workshops, hardly 
anything was left when the enemy entered 
Braila. In the course of the three weeks which 
had elapsed since the Germans crossed the 
Buzeu River the town had been completely 
evacuated. Even the shops were emptied of 
all their goods. Enemy officers and war corre- 
spondents had to record with undisguised 
annoyance in their letters and dispatches how 
on entering the finest shops they were told that 
there was nothing to be obtained, because 
everything had been bought up by the Russian 
Army before it left the town. 

On January 5 the left wing of the Army of 
the Danube reached the Sereth between the 
mouth of the Buzeu and Cota Lung ; on the 
6th the right wing approached the river north 
of Braila. They were now standing before the 
line 011 which the Russian Command had 
decided to arrest at all cost the enemy offensive. 
The advance of the Army of the Danube had 
reached its end, but the Ninth Army was now 

wheeling from a front facing north to one facing 
north-east ; the Lower Sereth was its pivot. 

After the fall of Rimnic Sarat it had continvied 
its movement along the Ploeshti-Foeshani 
railway. The group of Gen. Krafft von Del- 
mensingen advanced on the left wing, across 
the spurs and foot-hills of the Carpathian 
range ; in the centre that of Gen. von Morgen 
was pressing forward against Plaineshti ; east 
of the railway the army group of Gen. von 
Kiihne advanced towards the Lower Rimnic ; 
on the extreme right wing the cavalry corps of 
Gen. Count Schmettow pushed forward from 
the lake district across the open plain on the 
left bank of the Buzeu, keeping contact with 
the Army of the Danube on the other side of 
the river. On January 5-6, the days on which 
Gen. von Kosch reached the Lower Sereth, a 
pitched battle was fought by the right wing of 
the Ninth Army, which was closing in against 
the fortified area of Fundeni and Nomoloasa. 
The army group of Gen. von Kiihne and the 
Cavalry Corps of Count Schmettow, supported 
by a considerable artillery force, were advancing 
against the Lower Sereth between the River 
Rimnic and the Buzeu. 

Two of the best German divisions, the North 
Prussian 42nd Division under Gen. Schmidt von 
Knobelsdorf, and that of Gen. von Oettingen, 
























captured after a whole day's fighting the 
Russian positions on the road from Tartarani 
to Rimniceni, whilst Count Schmettow's forces 
captured the villages of Olaneasca, Guleanca, 
and Maxineni. Bit by bit, from south-east to 
north-west, the Germans were gaining the 
southern bank of the Sereth. The Russians 
were giving ground, though amid heavy 
fighting ; once Braila had been abandoned, it 
would have been to no purpose had they tried 
to maintain themselves south of tRe Lower 
Sereth. It was only the line of the Sereth 
itself which formed for them the limit beyond 
which a further retreat was inadmissible. 

The actual battle front now extended, as 
the crow flies, over some 130 miles, roughly 
from the Gyimes Pass to the junction of the 
Sereth and the Danube. It fell into three 
marked divisions. From the Gyimes Pass to 
near Focshani for some 70 miles the scene of 
the fighting was the Carpathian Mountains, 
difficult ground even in summer, but in the 
depth of winter, outside the valleys, a pathless 
wilderness. Between the mountain ridge of 
Odobeshti and the bridgehead of Nomoloasa 
the district in front of the Middle Sereth 
formed on a stretch of about 30 miles what may 
be described as the centre of the line its 
weakest part. The Sereth, in itself as yet no 
serious obstacle to military operations, cuts its 
path between fairly high banks through an 
open plain. Its valley is on the whole free of 
marshes; the swampy depression east of 
Focshani is separated from the valley of the 
Sereth by a low, broad ridge. It is only 
south of Nomoloasa that its character changes, 
and in these last 30 miles of the front the river 
formed a real barrier to an enemy advance. 
Its valley, 6 to 10 miles wide,' is covered with 
ponds and swamps, and is cut by minor con- 
fluents merging into the belt of marshes rather 
than into the river. Though roads run on both 
sides of the Sereth parallel to it, and the 
Jassy-Berladu-Galatz railway accompanies its 
northern bank, not a single road crosses the 
river below Xomoloasa. Beyond Galatz the 
Danube formed an almost impenetrable barrier. 

Here, then, the enemy offensive had reached 
the first strong continuous line across Rumania, 
since the gate into Wallachia had been forced 
in the second battle of Targul-Jiu. The 
strategic value of the Sereth front had been 
recognised long before the war. When, after 
the Congress of Berlin, Rumania had passed 

into the camp of the Central Powers and war 
with Russia was expected to result from one 
of the many Balkan crises of those years, it had 
become the regular strategic plan of the 
Rumanians, in case of defeat in the open, to 
withdraw into the mountainous region of 
Western Moldavia, but to bar the entrance into 
Wallachia along the Lower Sereth. On the 
other hand, in case of a surprise attack by 
Russia, the defences of the Sereth were to secure 
for Rumania a safe place d'armes in which she 
could have concentrated her armies. With 


Destroyed by the Russians during the retreat. 

that purpose in view a system of fortresses 
and a series of minor groups of forts were 
built along the river. They came to be known 
as the Sereth lines. First planned by the 
famous Belgian engineer, Lieut. -Gen. Brial- 
mont the same who had built the fortified 
lines round Bukarest the work was completed 
under the supervision of German experts. 
Galatz, between Lake Brateshu, the Danube 
and the Lower Sereth, formed the eastern 
bastion of the line. Its fortifications consisted 
of 10 groups of batteries, arranged in three 
lines on a front of about 10 miles, about 
four miles from the town. Nomoloasa, at the 
point where the Sereth offers the greatest 
facilities for a crossing, formed the centre of the 
system. Its fortifications, extending over a 
front of about 12 miles, consisted of eight 
groups and were arranged in two lines. At the 
foot of the Carpathians the fortress of Focshani 
and the bridgehead of Cosmeshti closed the 
line. Focshani, situated on high ground, 
dominates the sector of the Sereth Valley, 
where it offers the least natural protection ; 
special attention was therefore paid to its 
defences. They extended in a circle of about 



15 miles and formed 15 groups in three rows. 
For the purposes of the present war these 
elaborate fortifications were, however, of 
comparatively small value. They could serve 
at the best as bases for a more modern system 
of defence. Besides being unsuitable as 
against heavy artillery, they suffered from the 
disadvantage of having been planned mainly 
with a view to defence against an attack from 
the north. 

Still the wider strategic problem of defence 
along the Sereth remained the same. On the 
two wings the front was strongly protected 
by high mountains and by wide- rivers, whilst 
the centre, though no longer effectively defended 
by a fortress of the old style, was too narrow 
to admit an enemy advance as long as the 
wings stood firm. Moreover, an enemy offen- 
sive from the district of Focshani against the 
Middle Sereth would have in advancing 
ii i < 'ovens I its left flank and rear to a counter- 
offensive from the mountains. The (ierman 
Ninth Army, having reached, on January 5, 
the line Plaineshti-Xomoloasa, had still some 
scope for action in the plain round Focshani ; 
but unless a decisive victors was won, either 
on the Lower Sereth or in the Carpathian 
Mountains, they could not hope to break through 
in the centre. 

On the Moldavian frontier our Allies had 
never allowed the initiative to pass into the 

hands of the enemy. His attacks were regularly 
answered by counter-attacks, small local offen- 
sives were occasionally undertaken, and towards 
the end of November even operations on a 
bigger scale were carried out by the Russians 
against the Transylvanian passes with a view to 
relieving, as far as that was possible, the 
pressure of the enemy against the Rumanian 
armies in Wallachia. As a result of their 
untiring activity our Allies had been able to 
maintain themselves on the frontier-ridge 
practically along the entire length of the 
Moldavian border. 

After the fall of Bukarest the southern part 
of the Carpathian front, between the Gyimes 
Pass and Mount Varful Pentilau facing the 
south-eastern corner of Transylvania became 
of decisive importance. The enemy front in 
Wallachia wtus wheeling round towards the 
north. Moldavia was threatened with an attack 
along convergent lines, from the south as well 
as from the west. Yet, as has been previously 
mentioned, it was obvious that the main blow 
could hardly be delivered across the Sereth, 
and that the fate of Moldavia would be settled 
by a battle fought in the mountains between 
Gyimes and Focshani. 

The Carpathian front in Southern Moldavia 
falls into two marked divisions ; the mountain 
ridge extending between the town of Oitoz 
(south-west of the Oitoz Pass) and Soveia (on 



the Moldavian side) forms the watershed 
between the River Trotus and the Sereth and 
the border between the two sectors. South of 
the Soveia line, the numerous river-valleys, 
which intervene between the high parallel 
mountain ridges, run from west to east, slightly 
inclining towards the south as they approach 
the plain. The line of the most southern of 
them, the Milcov, and the branch valleys of its 
confluents, the Zabala, Naruja and Putna, had 
to be abandoned by our Allies on the enemy 
approaching the lower course of the Milcov in 
the region of Focshani. But beyond the Milcov 
valley, between it and that of the Tirlad, lay 
the Odobeshti mountain range, which, stretching 
practically in one line with the Lower Sereth, 
forms the natural extension of its front. Behind 
it, like reserve positions, follow several parallel 
ridges ; between Mount 1 365 and the town of 
Aguidu Nuou, at the junction of the Trotus and 
the Sereth, the ridge which forms the watershed 
between their basins and runs due east and 
west rises like a last powerful bar against an 
attack directed from the south into the flank 
of forces holding the range between the Oitoz 
and the Gyimes Passes. These were against the 
south the defences of the Trotus Valley. 

The Trotus River, the only one whose valley 
carries a railway line connecting Transylvania 
with Moldavia, has its sources west of the 
Gyimes Pass ; and, having broken through the 
frontier range, it flows in a south-easterly 
direction, parallel to the Bistritsa in the north 
and the Milcov in the south, till it joins the 
Sereth, at the eastern foot of the Carpathian 
Mountains. Within the 50 miles which intervene 
between the Gyimes Pass and the Soveia range 
a series of confluents join the Trotus from the 
south-west the Sultsa, the Csonbangos, the 
Uzul, the Oitoz, the Casin, etc. Each of them is 
like a gate offering. access from the flank to the 
Trotus Valley, which, with its branches extend- 
ing to the north and its road and railway 
joining the Sereth Valley in the strategically 
most important sectors, opposite the Berladu- 
Tecuciu line, was the key to the entire system 
of the Moldavian defences. 

The battle fought in the Carpathian Moun- 
tains was, therefore, in the first place a battle 
for the Trotus Valley. It did not matter if the 
line of the Milcov and of its confluents was 
abandoned, provided the southern defences 
of the Trotus Valley remained intact. The 
Trotus Valley and its gates between the 






Ovinics and the Oitoz had to be held at any 


The fall of Rimnic Sarat, which marks the 
beginning of the battle for the Middle Sereth, 
was to the enemy the signal for an offensive in 
the Carpathians. In the south the operations 
against Deduleshti. Dumitreshti and Bordeshti 
\\ere the natural continuation of the attack 
which from the west had been delivered against 
Kinmic Sarat by the army group of General 
Krafft von Delmeiisingen. 

On December 27 the operations extended, 
however, farther to the north ; from the head- 
waters of the Naruja and the Putna German and 
Austro-Hungarian troops tried to force their 
way against Focshani, whilst through the 
valleys of the Sultsa, Uzul, Oitoz and Casin an 
attack was opened against the Trotus line. 

In the Upper Zabala Valley our Allies had 
gradually to retire, conforming with the general 
withdrawal on the front north of Rimnic Sarat. 
" The south wing of the army group under the 
command of General von Gerok, in conjunction 
with movements in Great (Eastern) Wallachia, 
has advanced into the mountains in an easterly 
direction," reports the German communique of 
December 29. " German and Austro-Hun- 

garian troops in the difficult highland ground 
of the Transylvanian eastern frontier have 
stormed several positions." Also in the Oitoz 
Valley between Snsmezo and Harja the enemy 
offensive succeeded at first in scoring some 
successes. An extended front in the moun- 
tains always admits of surprise attacks. As 
lateral movements are usually difficult, reserves 
have to be kept some distance in the rear, and 
frequently several days are required before they 
can be brought up to the threatened sector. 
This was what happened in the Oitoz Valley. 
On December 27 the first German attacks were 
delivered, on the 28th fierce battles were fought 
for the heights east of Sosmezo, on the 29th the 
enemy, according to the Russian report, " suc- 
ceeded after repeated attacks in taking posses- 
sion of several heights in front of our positions 
south of the Oitoz River, thus compelling us to 
retire to a new position." Meantime reinforce- 
ments had reached our Allies and the enemy 
advance in the Oitoz Valley was arrested. 

The German attack against the mountain 
range between the Casin and the Susitza, in the 
region of Soveia, was never allowed to develop. 
" The enemy, having assumed the offensive in 
the region north-west of Soveia," says the 





Russian official report of December 31, " was 
defeated, and the Rumanian troops captured a 
large number of prisoners and a machine-gun 
company." In the direct neighbourhood of the 
Gyimes Pass the enemy's offensive succeeded in 
the first few days in capturing Mount Faltucanu 
(about 4,000 feet high), west of the junction of 
the Sultsa River and the Trotus. 

Thus isolated battles were developing with 
varying results along the entire South Moldavian 
border ; it is not possible to follow each of them 
in detail. Here and there the enemy scored 
tactical successes and gained some ground, but 
these gains (considerable only in the south, 
where our Allies had to withdraw in conformity 
with the retirement along the Rimnic Sarat- 
Focshani line) were not of a nature to affect the 
general strategic position. In the German report 
of January 9, although it tries to emphasise the 
fact that some gains had been achieved, one can 
yet clearly distinguish the note of disappoint- 
ment : " The enemy is tenaciously defending (lie 
valleys leading from the Bereczek (Vrancea) 
mountains into the Moldavian Plain. In spite 
of the unfavourable weather and the difficulties 
of the ground in the rugged forest mountains, 
our troops daily press back the enemy step by 

One last success the enemy was yet to score 
by his convergent attack from the Zabala and 
Milcov valleys and from the direction of Rimnic 
Sarat. On January 8 his troops entered'Foc- 
shani and gained a line extending from the town 

of Odobeshti to the bridgehead of Nanesti- 

January 10 marks practically the end 
of the enemy advance in Rumania, though 
lively fighting still continued for another 
fortnight. Between Braila and Galatz, in 
the marshes round Vadeni, a series of 
battles was fought, but without any marked 
gain for either side. Galatz itself was 
repeatedly bombarded by the enemy, though 
no serious offensive was undertaken against the 
town. On January 19 a last desperate attempt 
against the Sereth line was made by some of the 
best North German regiments of General von 
Kiihne's army group, Pomeranians, West 
Prussians and natives of the Altmark. After a 
whole day of fighting the town of Nanesti, on the 
right bank of the Sereth, opposite Fundeni, was 
captured by the enemy. The gain proved costly 
and barren ; the Germans were unable'to develop 
the success any farther. Lastly, the Bulgarian 
attempt on the south-eastern fringes of the 
Delta of the Danube has to be mentioned. 
Turning to account the severe frost which had 
just set in and hardened all the marshes, a 
Bulgarian battalion succeeded, under cover of a 
heavy morning fog on January 23, in crossing 
the St. George's Channel north of Tulcea. "Our 
troops by means of an impetuous night attack, 
which was launched without a shot being fired," 
says the Russian official communiqut of 
January 24, " annihilated the force which had 
crossed the river, capturing 5 officers, 332 men 



and 4 maeliinr-guns. Ourlos>e< were 1 
and 4 1 men wounded and 1 soldier killed." 

Tliis iiu-ident closes tin- enemy campaign 
in the plain. In the mountains, beginning 
with the middle of January, an almost com- 
plete balance of forces was established in 
many sectors our Allies were gaining the upper 
hand and recovering ground. But there also 
the extraordinarily severe winter for weeks 
the thermometer registered temperatures below 
zero Fahrenheit put an end to fighting on a 
larger scale, though minor local operations 
never ceased in that region, where a continuous 

and swerved mi them out of control, side on to 
the road before you knew. 

" No more soft covering of snow, only hard 
iron nakedness. Cloudless, starry nights. The 
earth rings like metal, the trees snap, wolves 
leave the forests and run on the open road. 
Krierid and enemy lie out on the mountain side 
opposite to each other, frozen to the marrow. 

" No strategy has ever foreseen that this 
country would once become a theatre of war. 
These mountains look as wild and desolate as 
any bits of unknown Asia. Forests untouched 
by any woodman's hand, protected it would 


line of trenches could not be established, and 
the deadlock of the plain could never prevail. 
The grim battle was fought both against \\v\\ 
and nature. 

Something of this mountain warfare can be 
seen in the description given by an eye-witness : 

" Up to now winter in the forests of the 
Carpathians had been only playing with men ; 
now it showed its teeth and turned to grim 
earnest. In the high mountains the roads 
hitherto ran, like soft ribbons of velvet, over 
the passes. N T ow they were like hard bands of 
si ed, hard, shining bands of steel, binding 
together the consecutive valleys. They were 
like perfect toboggan runs ; the lorries skidded 

seem by their own loneliness and inaccessibility. 
Only here and there runs a little light railway- 
looking most unmilitary and casual. Every 
road in these mountains is roundabout ; there 
is no connection from one to the other of the 
long valleys which traverse them, except 
tracks of smugglers and poachers. At tin- 
entrance of the valleys which lead from Molda- 
via into Transylvania, or at their exit, you 
may see perhaps an insignificant village ; no 
other human habitation near, if it be not a 
saw -mill or the house of the customs guard on 
the frontier. Fires and winds have ravished 
the forests. In places the great trees lie 
prostrate like straw, their heads to the east, 



their withered roots heaving up masses of dry 
earth, and they are covered by an impenetrable 
tangle of boughs. 

" Elsewhere the war has found territory 
prepared for it, here it breaks as a strange 
thing into the primeval lorest. Here man has 
to start at the beginning the work of the 
reclaiming of the wilderness, not for food and 
habitation, but for war. Roads and railways 
have been made for the war. 

" The air in the valley is like ice ; the high 
plateau on which we stand is surrounded by 
mountain ranges, like a little Tibet, its atmo- 

splinters of trees are thrown high in the air. 
A she-bear with her two cubs comes stumbling 
on our picket, stands on her hind feet for a 
time before the strange apparition, swaying 
her head. The picket dare not shoot for fear 
of arousing the enemy. Man and beast stand 
perplexed face to face till the old bear shuffles 
oft again into the thicket. 

" Huts have been built in the wilderness, 
but one has to remember in the darkness the 
wolves which inhabit the forests. A staff- 
officer of our division was besieged in an out- 
lying hut by wolves, who howled and whined 


sphere dim with ice-cold winter vapours. 
Curiously, as you mount higher, you feel it 
grow warmer, in the daytime at any rate. At 
night the frost is uniformly cruel everywhere, 
and in this murderous wintry desolation men 
dig themselves into the iron ground, stalk each 
other, storm these God -forsaken and nameless 
heights, defend them to the death as if they 
were possessions of the greatest price. There 
is the noise of the axe in the virgin forest, 
roads force their way through the chaos of 
fallen trees. 

" Buzzards and vultures hover overhead 
then suddenly fly off scared as the report of a 
gun resounds in the forest underneath and 


outside till some soldiers scared them off. The 
battle-fronts in this gruesome war measure by 
the thousands of miles, but nowhere is there 
a region more wild, more desolate and less 

" I stand in the darkness in front of our hut 
and look at the stars which shine in a narrow 
strip of sky above the valley. A regular tick- 
ing sound is heard through the night, like the 
beating of a nervous, anxious, diseased heart. 
Again and again an endless, restless ticking. 
The typewriter. ... In the snow-covered 
mountains, in the midst of primeval forests 
the typewriter in the ollice of the staff. Per- 
haps the ticking signifies an order to attack, a 



report of losses in battle or a request for rein- 
forcements. Here on the Moldavian border 
humanity has reverted to its original wild 
condition, and yet this ticking tries to speak 
of the ages that have passed over the earth. 
Stcjidily long lines of letters are drawn, one 
after the other, and a faint hope revives in 
one's heart that there may yet be a return 
from our fall, a return to civilisation. . . ." 

The quasi-armistice imposed on the Ru- 
manian front by the rigours of a winter which 
surpassed practically all records enabled the 
enemy to withdraw gradually most of the 
German divisions, leaving the defence of the 
Rumanian front almost entirely to Austrian, 
Hungarian, Bulgarian and Turkish troops. 
On the side of our Allies the enforced rest was 
used for a thorough reorganization of the 
Rumanian army. Even the units which to 
the very end remained in the fighting line 
were one by one re-formed behind the lines. 
Lessons drawn from the events of the preceding 
campaign were translated into practice. 
General Averescu was now in charge of the 
entire army, and had for chief of the General 
Staff General Presan ; the appointment of 
these two distinguished leaders to the task of 

reorganization was received with the greatest 
satisfaction everywhere in Rumania, and did 
much to restore confidence in the future. 
They were the only army commanders whose 
reputation was even raised by the campaign 
of 1916 and whose troops had been compelled 
to retreat, not by the enemy, but by circum- 
stances over which they themselves had no 

" The strictness of General Averescu is well 
known in his army," wrote the correspondent 
of The Times from Rumanian headquarters 
under date of February 10, 1917. "... There 
is no pardon for a coward, whoever he may be. 
I was present a few days ago at the execution 
of a wealthy young cavalry reserve officer. 
He retired his detachment from a position 
without reason or order ; he was tried and 
shot four days later. If General Averescu is 
strict with delinquents, the brave know that 
they will find in him their best friend and 
protector. His contact with the army under 
him is so close that he gets to know of the 
smallest act of bravery, and rewards, as far 
as possible personally, the man who has done it. 

" The commanders of the divisions are all 
young men. The greater part of the generals 
who took part in the autumn campaign have 





been removed. Some have been pensioned, 
some given insignificant commands in towns, 
and some tried. The new divisional com- 
manders have given proof of their ability 
during the campaign, and some of them who 
had at the outbreak of war only the command 
of a regiment successfully lead a division 
to-day. The same procedure has been used 
with the staff officers. Those who owed their 
situation only to seniority have been replaced 
by younger officers who have given proof of 
their capacity. 

" All these changes have had a wholesome 
effect on the spirit of the troops, who feel that 
they are led by worthy officers. Naturally, 
there are to a certain extent gaps among the 
junior officers. The reserve officers, however, 
among whom the necessary selection has been 
made after six months' campaign, have proved 
themselves reliable leaders. 

" While groups of this army are in the 
trenches, other groups are behind to be re- 
organized. The new recruits, which have 
been drilled for several months, are brought 
and incorporated in the old units. Two or 
three weeks of war-drilling with the men of the 
old army are sufficient for the new recruits ; 
and the units re-formed in this way are sent to 
the front, to replace other groups which are 
brought behind the lines and reorganized in 
the same way." 

Whilst the armies of the Central Powers 

were advancing into Rumania, the entire Press 
in Germany, as well as in Austria, was trying 
to stimulate the war-weary public not merely 
by tales of victories, but also by prospects of 
booty by promises of bread and oil. One of 
the richest agricultural regions of the world, the 
greatest oil-producing country in Europe 
(if Trans-Caucasia is considered part of Asia), 
was being added to the victims of the Germanic 
Powers ! In 1915 the Rumanian harvest 
comprised 2,500,000 tons of wheat, 800,000 tons 
of barley, 800,000 tons of oats, and 2,600,000 
tons of maize. Between January and July, 
1916, 2,300,000 tons of corn were imported into 
Germany and Austria-Hungary. The corn 
supplies which the enemy now hoped to seize 
were to be no less this year, and in his expecta- 
tions even much greater and certainly very 
much cheaper. Almost equally pressing was 
the need of oil supplies. Although Austria 
had in the summer of 1915 recovered 
the Galician oil fields, their production had 
remained, chiefly owing to the indolence and 
mismanagement of the Government, very small 
and wholly insufficient for the requirements of 
the Central Powers : their average monthly 
output amounted only to about 50.000 tons. 
But in the oil-bearing zone of Northern 
Wallachia, in the district of Ploeshti alone, 
1,500,000 tons were treated through the 
refineries in 1915, and this gave, among 
other products, 25 per cent, of petrol. But 
although 98 per cent, of the refined products 



exported dviring that year from Rumania had 
gone to the Central Empires, hardly any petrol 
was included among them, the Rumanian 
Government having decided to treat petrol as 
contraband. These accumulated stores of 
petrol the invader expected to seize in the 

Very soon he was to meet with disillusion- 
ment. A very considerable part of the Ruma- 
nian harvest had been bought up by the 
British Government, and still more was bought 
in view of the enemy invasion. The Rumanian 
Government, as well as its Allies, now saw to it 
that whatever stores could not be removed 
should be rendered useless to the enemy. 
Enormous stores of corn and oil were destroyed. 
In many places the corn and oil were mixed 
together a combination which the enemy does 
not seem to have expected. With horror 
the Germans watched this destruction. How- 
could anyone be so wicked as to destroy 
treasures badly needed by the Germans ? 
Endless outpourings of indignation flowed 
through the German Press: that same 1'ivss 




From a German drawing. 

which regularly justified every wanton act of 
vandalism committed by Germans on the 
property of other nations the cutting down of 
fruit trees, the breaking of the peasant's 
agricultural tools, the burning of villages, and 
the ruin of towns. But Rumania and her Allies 

were not to touch that which was their own ; 
they were to leave it as booty to the Germans ! 
The burning of every oil tank or grain elevator 
was a shameful destruction of " works of 

Naturally, German newspapers tried at first 
to assure the public that a small part 
only of the oil fields and corn stores had 

The British officer who undertook the destruction 

of the oil-wells. 

suffered ; the comforting tale about the rich 
loot which was to tender to all the German 
needs was not to be abandoned suddenly. 
Yet it had to be admitted that in the oil- 
producing regions round Ploeshti the destruction 
had been very extensive, and had been " carried 
out in a manner not merely skilful, but 
elaborate." The wooden towers over the 
bores were for the most part destroyed ; in 
all cases they were made useless. All the 
machine-houses were burnt down, and the 
machines and cranes smashed to pieces. All 
the oil reservoirs were set on fire. The under- 
ground plant was made useless for a long 
time to come. The bores were filled with 
countless quantities of short iron stakes, the 
extraction of which involves very much work ; 
all kind? of objects were thrown down the bores. 
The permanent riches of the country, the soil 
and its oil mines, naturally remained intact. 
But, by the systematic work of destruction, 



the Germans were deprived of its accumulated 
products and precluded from exploiting its 
wealth. In view of this severe disappointment, 
the Germans had to seek comfort somewhere. 
One Munich paper, with truly Teuton ingenuity, 
found it in the thought that after the war, 
despite all black lists, new machinery for the 
Rumanian oil fields would be imported from 
Germany. " To what purpose, then, all this 
English vandalism, which only gives us further 
opportunity to celebrate the triumphs of 
German technical skill and to open a rich market 
for the German engineering industry ? . . 
The English deed of annihilation has therefore 
only furnished a means of strengthening our 
exchange and acquiring a new market for our 

With regard to corn also, the inflated hopes 
had gradually to be reduced to modest dimen- 
sions. Towards the end of December, 1916. 

even worse than that which they had practised 
in Poland and Belgium. According to a trust- 
worthy report published in The Times of March 
1, " the whole of the civilian population between 
18 and 42 were compelled to work for the enemy," 
who, moreover, " requisitioned everything, 
leaving the population hardly enough to cat." 
Of the richer famines- many members were 
deported to Germany as hostages, and subjected 
to ill-treatment of the most outrageous kind. 
In order to deprive the Rumanian population 
of its last protectors and to relieve themselves 
of the presence of independent, impartial wit- 
ness of their proceedings, the German Govern- 
ment requested neutral governments repre- 
sented in Bukarest " to recall their representa- 
tives, since the departure of the Rumanian 
Government from Bukarest, the capture of the 
fortress, and the institution of military admini- 
stration, leave no room for diplomatic activity." 


the semi-official Press in Germany began to 
publish inspired warnings against exaggerated 
hopes of economic relief from Rumania. One 
by one the supply of different foodstuffs was 
analysed, and the one under consideration 
was usually found deficient. 

Meantime, in Rumania the Germans vented 
their wrath of disappointment on the helpless 
population. A system of government \\ as 
introduced, certainly equally bad and possibly 

On January 13, 1917, the American and 
Dutch Ministers had to leave Rimiania. 

In Volume IX. (pp. 401-433) an account 
was given of Rumanian politics during the 
opening two years of the war. The decision 
reached at the Crown Council of August 27, 
1916, was the most important in Rumania's 
whole history. As such it was approved by 
the overwhelming majority of thoughtful 



In the background ships are 

Rumanians. Not only were they attracted 
by sentimental and historical associations to 
the Entente Powers, not only did they see that 
only through their assistance could they 
achieve the liberation of their brothers beyond 
the Carpathians ; they felt, beyond that, 
that the whole course of Rumania's future was 
at stake. The only hope for progress in 
Rumania lay in the infusion of new life into 
a country which still suffered from the effects 
of Turkey's misrule and Europe's neglect. 

By a majority the Crown Council decided 
on entering the war. There were, however, 
dissentients. The three Conservative ex-Pre- 
miers Carp, Maiorescu, and Th. Rosetti 
remained obstinately attached to their tenets 
of a lifetime. Admiration of Prussian efficiency, 
which had played a spectacular part in the 
material exploitation of modern Rumania, 
was reinforced in their minds by their view 
of Russia as an Eastern autocracy, fated to 
tyrannize over others for a time, but ultimately 

being loaded with machinery. 

doomed to decomposition. True to their 
principles they voted against intervention. 
Their decision was of little import, for though 
widely respected they had no longer any fol- 
lowing in the country. More interesting was 
the position of Marghiloman. To the last he 
had kept up a lively agitation against war, 
and on the morning of the Council his papers 
appeared with the usual attacks on the Entente 
Powers and eulogies of German science and 
prowess. What he said at the Council was 
not published, but he refrained from openly 
recording his vote against intervention. He 
might well say afterwards that against his 
better judgment he refrained from opposing 
what was clearly the will of his King, of the 
responsible Ministers and of the majority of 
the politicians of the country. His press 
acquiesced in the accomplished fact of war, 
and on August 30 Steagul, eschewing further 
comment, put on a war dress and exhorted 
the nation to prepare for a grim struggle. 

In the distance a pontoon bridge, which has been opened to let the gunboat pass. 



Assuming the r61e of whole-hearted patriot 
the same paper proceeded some days later to 
inveigh against the Magyars and accuse them 
of having by their intransigeance made war 

The Press naturally " boomed " the war, 
and found in the opening stages of the Tran- 
sylvanian campaign much material for patriotic 
exhortation of the nation. Octavian Goga, the 
Transylvanian poet, in the columns of Epocn, 
hailed with joy the " decision that the sun 
which rises to-morrow in fire and blood shall 
shine on Great Rumania." Another great 

qufa and picturesque stories. Perhaps it was 
wisest so, for enemy agents were everywhere, 
but Rumanian journalists found these new 
restrictions somewhat irksome and sarcas- 
tically appealed to the Minister of Public 
Instruction for " at least the liberty allowed 
to the Russian Press." 

There had been some expectation that the 
declaration of war would be followed by the 
formation of a National Government. Bratianu, 
however, preferred to keep in his own hands the 
control of affairs. The only change made was 
the taking of his brother, Viiitila Bratianu, 

interventionist organ 
" The die is cast. The destiny of Rumania 
and the whole Rumanian race from the Theiss 
to the sea, from the forests of Maramuresh to 
the Danube, is now in the hands of our brave 
army." The hitherto impassive Government 
organ, Viitorul, was no whit less vehement. 
" Our holy war," it wrote, " the day which 
the entire Rumanian race has awaited for 
centuries, the day of its full union, has come." 
Even the Marghilomanist papers were swept 
along perforce in the stream of patriotic 
enthusiasm. Only the frankly pro-German 
papers of Carp and his party were silent. 
Moldova and similar papers no longer appeared. 
But, indeed, the Press counted for little. The 
censorship was very strict. Little was allowed 
in the way of war news except official communi- 


Universul, declared : into the Cabinet as Minister of War, a post 

hitherto held by Bratianu himself. There 
were, indeed, difficulties in the way of the 
formation of a coalition. It was impossible 
for Take lonescu and Filipescu to work as 
whole-hearted colleagues with a man like 
Marghiloman, whom they had for a long time 
past denounced as a " traitor to the race." 
Yet Marghiloman remained the nominal head 
of the old Conservative party, and it was 
impolitic to slight him or estrange him further. 
As events moved the Germanophils moved 
with them. The barbarous and wanton out- 
rages of German aircraft on Bukarest apparently 
impressed even Maiorescu, according to one 
paper's testimony. Marghiloman was moved 
to denounce German atrocities through his 
papers. Early in November, after the Battle 



of Targul-Jiu, he went a step farther and con- 
tided to a correspondent of the Petit Pnrisien : 
" From to-morrow I will do everything for 
national unity. From a partisan of peace 
I have become a partisan of war. . . . My one 
desire now is final victory." It looked for the 
moment as though he were qualifying for a 
place in a new Coalition Government, whicli 
was again in the air. Further, he may well 
have wished to recover for his party a con- 






Former Prime Minister 
and leader 

of the 
Conservative Party. 

siderable section of those who sixteen months 
before under the leadership of Filioescu had 
left him and united with Take lonescu's 
Conservative Democrats on an interventionist 
basis. Filipescu himself did not live to see 
more than a few weeks of the war for which 
he had contended. He died on October 14, 
without seeing as Adeverul expressed it 
.the " Great Rumania of his dreams." Journals 
of all parties united to call him " a great 
patriot, an unsurpassed Rumanian," and over 
his grave pronounced eulogies which, for 
party reasons, they had not accorded him during 
his life. Filipescu had. indeed, subordinated 
to the great dream of realizing the union of the 
whole Rumanian race all his own personal and 
larty feelings. It says much for him that he, 
a boyar of the boyars, should have loyally 
cooperated for tw<> years with Take Tonescu 
and his democratic followers. Filipescu knew 
well that the incorporation of Transylvania 
meant the end of the rule of the Conservative 
party and of the boyar class in Rumania. But 
lie loyally accepted the inevitable reform of the 
franchise and agrarian conditions since they 
wen- indispensable to the achievement of the 
pan-Rumanian dream. 

Filipescu did not see the victory of Targul- 

Jiu, but he also escaped the month of disaster 
which followed and which concluded with the 
fall of Bukarest on December 6. The Rumanian 
authorities hurriedly left the city and the 
capital was transferred to Jassy. There, on 
December 22, assembled the Rumanian Parlia- 
ment. It was an hour of gloom. Two-thirds oi 
the country was in the hands of the enemy and 
' the prospect for the future was black. The 
leaders of the nation showed themselves, 
however, undaunted in adversity. Before the 
defeats on October 10 King Ferdinand had 
declared to the special correspondent of The 
Times : 

Rumania has not been moved by a mere policy of 
expediency, nor has her determination to enter this war 
been the outcome of any cynical material policy, or of 
bad faith to the Central Powers, but it has been based 
on the biggest principles of nationality and national 
ideas. . . . The Rumanians will not falter in Ihcii 
allegiance to the cause, nor can the enemy wean them 
from their faith in Kngland the Just, in France theit 
Latin brother, and in Russia their immediate neighbour. 

Now in his Speech from the Throne he 
reaffirmed his faith in this cause. 

In order to defend the interests of our race and to 
assure the unity and future of Rumania it was our duty 
to join in the war. . . . Our Army has sustained the 
struggle according to the glorious tradition cf our 
ancestors and in a manner which justifies our looking 
forward to the futun; with absolute confidence. Up 
to now the war has imposed upon us great hardships 
and sacrifices. We shall bear these with courage, for 
we maintain absolute confidence in the final victory ot 
our Allies, and in spite of difficulties and sufferings we 
are determined to strupj^le at their side with energy unto 
the end. . . . Before the common peril we must all 
show an ardent patriotism and unity of heart and mind ; 
\vi- must surround with love and admiration our soldiers 
who are defending the ancestral soil trodden by the 

The Prime Minister. M. Bratianu, appealed 
in equally stirring terms for the union of all 
parties in the national cause. He expounded 
the difficulties Rumania had had to fight 
against, difficulties of geograpliical position and 
military inferiority to her powerfully equipped 
foe. Reviewing Rumania's international policy 
in the past, he showed the necessity of her 
intervention in the war if she was to secure her 
future independence and the union of the whole 
race. Rumanians might rest assured they had 
taken the only possible path, the path of honour. 
Xo peace short of full victory, which her Allies 
assured her, was possible. " Our faith is intact. 
... It encourages us to pass through the 
sufferings and griefs of the moment, to go 
unhesitatingly forward." M. Bratianu's great 
rival, M. Take lonescu, had no hesitation in 
fully responding to his appeal. He promised the 
full support of his party to the Government in 



the national cause. In such a war there could 
be no half-measures. 

No one can be neutral, still less passive. That would 
mean allowing others to dispose of us at their will. . . . 
The duty of the Government is to tell the country that 
we should have entered into the war even if we had not 
believed in victory ; that we did not act from calcu- 
lation, but from a sense of duty, that whatever may be 
our sufferings and our losses, even if we had to face 
total exile, general ruin and the destruction of everything, 
it would still be a small price to pay for the blessing of 
national unity. . . . Confident in victory, we accept 
all pains and all sufferings, since it will be given to ua to 
write the epic of Rumania. 

Perhaps the most eloquent spokesman of the 
nation and the whole Rumanian race was the 
distinguished historian, Professor lorga. He 
dwelt only on the past in so far as it threw out 
hopes of a brighter future. He paid an eloquent 
tribute to the patriotism of the King and passed 
from him to the fortitude of the army, and 
particularly of the peasant soldiers, " that part 
of the people most worthy of sympathy and the 
least rewarded for its efforts." lorga put in an 
earnest plea that the long-promised measures 


M. Toiicscu never wavered in this faith, and 
four months later asserted in an article in The 
New Europe : 

1 urged 7ny eountry, with all my power, to enter into 
this war: and. if my heart bleeds at the sight of the 
misfortunes which have befallen it, my conscience tells 
me that if I had to make the decision again I could not 
act differently. Hut if from all this tragedy nothing 
should emerge but a German peace on the basis of the 
sta'.ut qwi, I should feel I had committed a crime. . . 
Were Rumania doomed to suffer all the torments of 
hell, I should continue to say " No peace till Germany 
has been defeated." It is by urging on the war that 
we can most truly serve the cause of humanity. 

of land refonn to which the King had alluded 
in his Speech should no longer be delayed and 
that the Rumanian agricultural class " should 
no longer be a stranger on the soil which the 
blood of their dearest lias hallowed anew by 
their sacrifice." 

National unity was not merely hymned in 
Parliament. It was formally expressed by the 
formation on December 24 of a Coalition 
Government. M. Bratianu took into his own 
hands the responsible post of Minister of 




Foreign Affairs, replacing M. Porumbaru. The 
latter and t\\ree of his colleagues retired from 
the Cabinet. In their places several members of 
the " Fusionist " party which since Filipescu's 
death had been under Take lonescu's leadership 
entered the Government. M. Mihai Canta- 
cuzino became Minister oi Justice. M. Greceanu, 
leader of the Filipescan party in Moldavia, took 
the portfolio of Commerce, M. Mirzescu that of 
Agriculture and Domains, and Dr. 1st rat i. 
who , had been President of the Rumanian 
Academy, that of Public Works. The Ministers 
of Justice (Antonescu) and Agriculture (Con- 
Btantinescu) were transferred to the departments 
of Finance and the Interior respectively. The 
former Minister of Finance (Costinescu) 
remained in the Cabinet without portfolio, but 
M. Mnrtsun (Interior) left the Government. 
Two new Ministers without portfolio a post 
now legalised by Parliament were M. Take 
lonescu and M. Pherekyde (a veteran Liberal, 
hitherto President of the Chamber). M. Vintila 
Bratianu and M. Duea remained Ministers of 
War and Education respectively. Th" forma- 
tion of thi- National Government mada a good 
impression. It represented the rally of the whole 
nation in the hour of disaster. It gave, further, 
* < tangible assurance that the reform of the 

franchise and land question alluded to in the 
Speech from the Throne would not remain a 
mere party promise but would be brought 
forward at the earliest opportunity in Parlia- 

While the nation's representatives were 
witnessing to Rumania's unshaken resolution in 
the Moldavian capital, a very discordant note 
was struck by two Conservative politicians who 
had remained behind in Bukarest. It will be 
remembered that the old '' Junimist " Con- 
servative leader, Carp, had to the last protested 
against Rumania's intervention in the \\ar on 
the side of the Entente. At the decisive Crown 
Council of August 27 he declared to the King : 
" I give you my three sons. I suspend the 
publication of my paper (Moldova) because I do 
not wish to occasion further unpleasantness, 
but, as Rumania's victory must be Russia's 
victory. T wish Rumania to be beaten." Ever 
since that day he had retired from public life 
and avoided the King and Government. Now, 
after the German occupation of Bukarest, 
M. Carp expressed his views to a representative 
of the Neue Freie Presse. He complained that 
his warnings about the danger of intervention 
and of trusting Russian promises, warnings 
which had been neglected, had now proved to 



be well founded. He spoke bitterly of M. 
Bratianu's policy and regretted that Rumania's 
years of peaceful development had been 
interrupted by an unnecessary and calamitous 
war. Pro-German as his words were, they none 
the less were sincere. Carp in his old age 
represented a type of mind which lives in the 
past rather than in the future. He could not see 
either the fatal consequences for Rumania, as 
for the rest of the world, that. Prussia's victory 
would involve or the inevitable approach of the 
Russian Revolution which would alter the 
whole connotation of the word " Russia." 

Carp did not allude to the vexed question of 
Transylvania and the oppression of the Ruman-s 
of Hungary. His former colleague, Marghi- 
loman, was .less reticent. Marghiloman had 
had occasion to alter and modify his attitude 
towards the war during the past six months. 
The fall of Bukarest, however, revived all his 
old faith in Germany. To Bratianu's invitation 
to participate in the newNational Government at 
Jassy he replied with a refusal and stayed behind 
at Bukarest as President of the Rumanian Red 
Cross. On December 21 the Hungarian paper 
Vildy published an interview with him. Mar- 
ghiloman insisted that he had always opposed 
Bratianu's d^ire for war and had refused to 


countenance intervention by taking any part 
in a National Government. He reiterated his 




old distrust of Russia and her aims on Con 
stantinople. As for Transylvania, Marghiloman 
roundly denied Hint there was any Rumanian 
Irredenta in Transylvania and the Bnnat. 
" The Rinnans of Hungary do not gravitate 
across the f n >nt ier. This conviction was always 
the ba-iis of my policy. They are loyal citizens 
of Hungary." Such were the amazing state- 
ments of the ex-leader of the Conservative 
party. Possibly his asseverations that the 
Rumans of Hungary were loyal citizens of 
Hungary and his praise of their leaders, Mihaly, 
Vaida and Aurel Popovici, may have had the 
laudable purpose of attempting to conciliate 
Magyar feeling towards the much suspected 
Rumanian population of Hungary. If it had 
not this intention, but was meant as a literal 
statement of fact, it was ludicrously untrue. 

The Magyars themselves disproved it. Early 
in February, indeed, the Hungarian Govern- 
ment began to extort from Rumanian public 
men and newspapers in Hungary professions of 
loyalty to the Hungarian Crown and of whole- 
hearted co-operation in the war. Papers like 
the Gazeta Transilvaniei were forced to protest 
against the Entente's attempts to " liberate " 
them, and to declare that they " had nothing 
in common with the Rumanians of the 

Kingdom in character, aspirations or feeling." 
On February 14 the Pester Lloyd published n 
long address to Count Tisza signed (necessarily) 
by a number of prominent Rumanian ecclesi- 
astics and public men in which they declared 
that " we wish to have nothing to do with the 
liberation spoken of by the Entente, and we 
hold fast to the inviolability of our Hungarian 
fatherland. . . . We know that the Hun- 
garian Crown is called to safeguard the cultural. 
economic and political development of the 
Hungarian Rumans." Preaching on this text 
Pesti Hirlap went to the length of calling the 
Rumans " Ruman Magyars," and declared 
that the chief lesson drawn from the war was 
that everyone in Hungary should henceforth 
learn to understand the Magyar language. 

So much for paper declarations of loyalty. 
The real facts as to the attitude of the Rumanian 
population in Hungary were disclosed by 
Hungarian deputies themselves. On February 
24 a certain Schmidt, in the Hungarian House 
of Representatives, inveighed against the 
" traitorous " attitude of " a large part of the 
Ruman population of Transylvania," who all 
along cherished the desire for union with 
Rumania. The Rumanian Intelligenzia, he 
declared, had openly fraternised with the 





invading Rumanian armies. He demanded 
that these " traitors " should be treated with 
" Draconic severity ; perhaps to-day the mo- 
ment has come to free Transylvania from the 
nightmare of the so-called Rumanian Question." 
A week later, in the -same House, a member of 
Tisza's party, Bethlen, declared that in a 
number of places in Transylvania the popu- 
lation of all classes had joyfully welcomed the 
invaders and joined and aided them in their 
operations. When the Austro-Hungarian 
troops had begun to advance, these people had 
departed voluntarily with the enemy in the hope 
of returning later with him. But when they 
realised that the Rumanian army would not 
return they began to make their way back 
secretly, and afterwards, seeing that no harm 
happened to them, great numbers returned 
openly. Bethlen therefore demanded severer 
measures. In reply to these two deputies' 
complaints of the Government's slackness, the 
Hungarian Minister of Justice (Balogh) declared 
that " the Government is taking active 
measures to punish these traitors. Nine public 
prosecutors with their staffs are at work and 
are cooperating with the Honved Military 
Courts in Transylvania to clear up the many 
thousands of more or less important criminal 
cases and to bring them before the competent 
Courts of Justice. No traitor has gone un- 
punished and no guilty Rinnan has been let out 

of prison. To-day there are more than a 
thousand persons in prison, so there can be no 
talk of suspected persons being left at large. 
The law concerning the confiscation of the 
property of traitors will be vigorously enforced." 
That the last promise was kept 1 is 'shown by a 
statement 1 of the Neues Wiener Tagblatt of 
March 11, that already there had been 600 
cases of confiscation of property. The, 
again (of March 9), announced that the trial 
of 16 Rumans had just been concluded at 
Klausenburg (Cluj). The ringleaders were 
David Pop and Spiridion Borits, accused of 
furnishing the Rumanian military authorities 
with information. Both of them with seven 
accomplices were sentenced to death, and others 
to various terms of imprisonment. These 
instances; are merely a few of the many that 
might be adduced to show the wretched plight 
of the Transylvanian Rumans. 

The Speech from the Throne to the Rumanian 
Parliament on December 22 had alluded to the 
n?ed for franchise and agrarian reforms. Both 
R unanian Government and people were deter- 
m ned that these promises were not to remain 
empty words. Early in March the King in an 
address to his troops reaffirmed the promise. 
Parliament had been adjourned till May 17, 
but meanwhile the Coalition Cabinet proceeded 
to draw up a scheme of reform. For Un- 
complicated three-college system of election, in 



which considerations of wealth and education 
militated against any adequate representation 
of the huge peasant vote, was to he substituted 
not only universal but direct and equal suffrage. 
The old system was a reminiscence of Prussia 
with which modern, democratic Rumania could 
well afford to dispense. The outbreak of the 
Russian Revolution on March 1:2 spurred mi the 
Rumanian reformers to translate the King's 
promises into Acts of Parliament. Further, the 
land question was once again approached. 
Cuza's law of 1864 establishing a limited peasant 
proprietorship had proved inadequate to meet 
the peasants' ever-growing need of more land of 
their own. The Government formulated a 
scheme by which some 120,000 acres of Crown 
and State lands were freely made over to the 
peasants. A further 800,000 acres were to be 
compulsorily purchased from the big land- 

holders on fair terms. The result of the changes 
would be to bring the percentage of land owned 
by the peasants from fili to 85. It was not to be 
expected that the landed classes in Rumania 
would greet these changes with enthusiasm. 
Hut they understood that the cause of national 
unity and Rumania's future demanded them. 
Accordingly Bratianu's mixed Liberal-Con- 
servative Cabinet unanimously decided on the 
proposed reform. The Conservatives felt, as 
their late leader Filip?scu had felt, that though 
universal equal suffrage might be premature, 
and even unwise, it was, if necessary, a small 
price to pay for the achievement of Rumanian 
national unity at home and beyond the Car- 
pathians. The Jews, too, were assured of a 
removal of their grievances and a full share 
in the rights, as in the duties, of Rumanian 



WAR (II.). 



THE valiant exploits for which, during 
the first two years of the war, the 
Victoria Cross was awarded were 
described in Chapter CLII. (Vol. X). 
The amazingly varied nature of the achieve- 
ments of soldiers and sailors on land and sea 
and in the air were dealt with and instances 
were given of exceptional personal prowess. 
The very first of the Crosses were won by 
heroes of the old Regular Army in the momen- 
tous opening days of the war, at Mons, Le 
Cateau, and later at the Marne and elsewhere ; 
and afterwards courageous Colonials and 
Indians who were serving in near and far 
countries were added to the roll of fame. 
Additions were provided by the Battle of 
Jutland, which gave to posterity the lasting 
memory of the impressive heroism of Loftus 
Jones, commander of the, old destroyer, Shark, 
and Jack Cornwell, the boy whose unflinching 
bravery when mortally wounded sent through 
Vol. XII Part 148. 153 

all British hearts such a thrill of pride and 
admiration as had not been known since the 
triumphant stand of the handful of the 24th 
at Rorke's Drift. The deeds that were chroni- 
cled relating to that long period of the war 
were unsurpassable ; but their character was 
maintained in the achievements for which the 
Cross was subsequently awarded to officers 
and men of the Navy and the Army. 

A remarkable feature of the awards which 
were made at the beginning of the third 
year of the war was the largeness of the number 
of Crosses gazetted within a very short period. 
Early in August, 1916, nine awards were 
published together ; no fewer than twenty 
were announced at one time in September, 
1916. eight of these being after-death awards; 
in that month also a further batch of twelve 
recipients was made known, and altogether, 
in a period of seven weeks, the extraordinary 
number of forty-five Crosses was gazetted. 


mi: 77.w/:> 

Though at firs! sitrht it seemed that the COVOtx I 
honour wiis heini; conferred more liberally than 
lit any pn-viciiis period, tliis was far from being 
the case; indeed. there was. if anything, a 
decrease in the proportion of awards, for now 
the British force- eoneerned were numbered 
by the million, whereas (he Old Immortals 
who bore the burden of the tiirht with the 
( I.Tinan hosts in the opening weeks of the war 
numbered less than a hundred thousand. 
The date of the ga/.ette.- gave no clue to the 
period of the performance of (lie act of valour, 
for the forty-live included three Cro-,ses 
which had I eeii given in connexion with tho 
l.iittle of .lutland. 

Tho awards of the Cross were made in com- 
paratively large numbers ; but the actual 
percentage of recipients was extremely small, 
in view of the vast numbers of officers and 
men who were on active service in the Navy 
and the Army. A thorough understanding 
of the relative value of the first of all military 
dist inctions was given in the House of Commons 

on November 23, 1!H(>. by Mr. Forster. Kini.ncial 
Secretary to the \Var Ollice, in answer to .1 
question by Colonel IVge Croft. Mr. Korst* , 
pointed out (hat not all those recommended 
for honours by ollieer.- commanding battalions 
or other units were awarded honours or r.- ward- ; 
but tin' number of " immediate rewards" was 
very large. He mwe the numbers of Midi 


(GaU- f- /'. Uen. 


awards gazetted for the period from July 1 
nearly live months. This total was 17,li7(> ; 
yet it contained only 77 Victoria Crosses, 
compared with the following : D.S.O., 333 ; 
M.C., 2,309 ; D.C.M., 1,576 ; M. Medal, 12.4:;o ; 
M.S. Medal, 651. These numbers were not, 
however, complete, as many other rewards 
bad been given which had not yet been gazetted. 
The details furnished striking proof of the 
Army's gallantry in the field. To the fact 
that not all recommendations were acted 
upon was to be attributed the occasional 
appearance of reports of the winning of the 
Victoria Cross which subsequently proved to 
be baseles... 

As the result of inquiries which were brought 
to his notice the Secretary for War announced, 
early in November, 1916, that s-ny war medal 
which it might be decided to issue in commemo- 
ration of the war would be given, in the case 
of deceased ollicers i % r.d men who would, had 
they survived, have been entitlid to it, to the 
next-of-kin. The Victoria Cross was included 
in this decision, ;md on November 10, at 
Buckingham IVlaee. the King handed to no 
fewer than nine persons, as next-of-kin, the 
Crosses won by their relatives. These reci- 
pients were as follows : Mrs. \Valford, awarded 



to her husband, Capt. G. N. Walford, R.A. ; 
Mrs. Wright, awarded to her son, Capt. T. 
Wright, R.E. ; Mrs. Vallcntin, awarded to her 
son, Captain J. F. \ 7 allentin, The South Staf- 
fordshire Regiment ; Mr. John Liddell, awarded 
to his son, Captain J. A. Liddell, The Argyll 
and Sutherland Highlanders and the Royal 
Flying Corps ; Major Charles Turner, awarded 

Scottish Rifles, T.F. 

to his son, Sec.-Lieut. A. B. Turner, Royal 
Berkshire Regiment ; Mr. William Williams, 
awarded to his son, W. C. Williams, Able 
Seaman, Royal Fleet Reserve ; Mrs. Corn-well, 
awarded to her son, John Travers Corn-well, 
Boy, First Class, R.N. ; Mr. Robert Drake, 
awarded to his son, Corporal A. Drake, The 
Rifle Brigade ; Mrs. Barber, awarded to her 
son, Private E. Barber, Grenadier Guards. 
Similar presentations were subsequently made. 
Dated "War Office, August, 1916," the 
nine V.C.'s which opened the roll of highest 
honour for the war's third year, included two 
posthumous honours, one to Captain John 
Leslie Green, R.A.M.C., and the other to Sapper 
William Hackett, R.E. Green's act was 
truly noble. Though himself wounded he 
went to help another wounded officer who 
was hung up on the enemy's wire entangle- 
ments. He succeeded in dragging the officer 
to a shell-hole, and dressed his wounds, in 
spite of continuous throwing of bombs and 
rifle grenades. Green made a splendid effort 
to crown his courageous and unselfish work 
by trying to take the wounded officer into 
sate cover, and he had nearly done so when 
he was killed. 

Hackett afforded another glorious example 

of self-sacrifice. The explosion of an enemy 
mine entombed him and four others in a 
gallery. For twenty hours these five prisoners, 
battling with sliding earth, menaced by a 
horrible death, worked to free themselves, and 
at t lie end of that long period they had succeeded 
in making a hole through the fallen earth and 
broken timber and had the joy of meeting the 
outside party and seeing salvation just at 
hand. Hackett helped three of his fellow- 
prisoners through the hole. He could easily 
have followed and secured his own safety ; 
but the fourth man had been seriously injured 
and the gallant sapper refused to leave him. 
" I'm a tunneller," he said, " I must look after 
the others first." The hole was getting smaller, 
the peril was growing, yet the sapper resolutely 
refused to leave his injured comrade then the 
gallery collapsed and the two were again 
buried alive. For four days the rescue party 
worked desperately in their attempt to reach 
the two men ; but they failed. It is hard to 
find words that adequately express appreciation 
of such an act ol courage and self-sacrifice. 
" Sapper Hackett, well knowing the nature of 
sliding earth, the chances against him, deliber- 
ately gave his life for his comrade." 




Two Territorials Acting-Sergeant John Kr- was hrlir\nl in | )( . dead, show signs of move- 
skine, Scottish Rifles, T. K., and I'rivatt- Arthur nient. lie ran out to him, b.mdaged his head, 
I'nx-tor. Liverpool Kegimeiit, T. K. and remained with him for fully an hour, though 

Manchester Regt. 

were included in the nine for deeds which 
strongly resembled each other. Erskine, in 
circumstances of great danger, rescued a 
wounded sergeant and a private, under con- 
tinuous fire. Later on, seeing his officer, who 

East Yorkshire Regt. 

Liverpool Regt., T.F. 

he was repeatedly fired at, whilst a shallow 
trench was being dug to them. Having done 
this, Erskine helped to bring in his officer, 
giving him the shelter of his own body, to 
lessen the chance of his being hit again. 
Proctor showed the same conspicuous bravery 
and disregard of personal safety when, noticing 
some movement of two wounded men who 
were lying in the open, in full view of the 
enemy, at about 75 yards in front of our 
trenches, he went out and ran and crawled to 
them. He got the two men under cover of a 
small bank and dressed their wounds. He 
ministered not only to their bodily welfare by 
this attention and giving them some of his 
own clothing to keep them warm, but he also 
encouraged them by ' promising that they 
should be rescued after dark. He had gone out 
entirely on his own initiative, he had acted 
under heavy fire, and regained our trenches 
while still heavily fired at ; but he had the 
intense joy of knowing that his promise had not 
been made in vain, for at dusk both the wounded 
men were brought in alive. 

Fine resourcefulness and suifiii'ss to act 
marked the exploit of Privat. < iror^v William 
Chafer, East Yorkshire Regiment. While our 
trenches were being heavily bombarded and 
attacked a man who was carrying an important 
written message to his Company Officer was 
half buried and made unconscious by a shell. 
Chafer instantly realised the critical importance 
of the situation, and on his own initiative took 



the message from the man's pocket. He was 
severely wounded in three places, but he ran 
along a ruined parapet, under heavy shell and 
inachine-gun fire, and only just managed to 
deliver the message when he collapsed from the 
effect of his wounds. 

High individual courage and determination 
characterised the conduct for which the Cross 
was awarded to Private George Stringer, 
Manchester Regiment, who, by a most resolute 

Munster Fusiliers, showed " unflinching 
courage " while in command of a raiding party. 
Just as he entered the enemy's lines he was 
severely wounded by a bomb, which broke and 
mutilated all the fingers of his right hand ; 
but the subaltern carried on, " his voice being 
clearly heard cheering on and directing his 
men." He was urged to retire, but refused. 
Half an hour later, during the withdrawal, he 
was helping to rescue other wounded men 


stand, holding his ground single-handed, saved 
the flank of his battalion and made a steady 
withdrawal possible. An enemy position had 
been captured and Stringer had been posted 
on the extreme right of his battalion to guard 
against any hostile attack. The battalion 
was subsequently forced back by an enemy 
cou-iter-attack ; but Stringer held his ground 
and kept the enemy back till all his grenades 
were expended. 

Lieut. Arthur Hugh Batten-Pool], Royal 

when he received two more wounds ; he, 
however, declined assistance and managed to 
walk to within 100 yards of our lines when he 
fainted and was carried in by the covering 

Uncommon features marked the two remain- 
ing cases of the nine, in which the Cross was 
awarded to Lieut. Richard Basil Brandram 
Jones, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and 
to Captain (temporary Major) Lionel Wilmot 
Brabazon Rees, R.A. and R.F.C. With his 




platoon Jones was holding a orator which had 
li.-oii recently captured from the enemy. At 
about 7.:i<> |).iu. tin- enemy exploded iv mine 
forty yards to the lieutenant's right, at the 
sunn' time putting u heavy barrage fire on our 
trendies and isolating the platoon. The 
enemy then attacked in overwhelming num- 

R.A. and R.F.C. 

bers ; but Jones set an extraordinarily fine 
example by shooting no fewer than fifteen of 
the enemy as they ad% r anced. Not only did 
he do that, but he added further to his example 
by deliberately counting aloud the enemy 
as they fell. He maintained his stirring lead 
until his ammunition was finished, then he 
took a bomb, but while getting up to throw 
it he was shot through the head. Such an 
example was irresistible, and fired by their 
leader's spirit the men, when they had neither 
ammunition nor bombs left, hurled stones and 
ammunition-boxes at the enemy, and kept up 
this defiant defence until only nine of the platoon 
were left, and the surviving remnant was 
forced to retire. 

The achievement of Major Rees was an 
illustration of the unforeseen development of 
aerial activity in connexion with the war ; and 
it was possible only to such men as those who 
were to be found in the air battle squadrons of 
the Allies. He was on flying duties when he 

sighted what he thought to bo a bombing party 
of our own machines returning home. Rees 
went up to escort them, and it was not until he 
wa> getting near that he found that they were 
not friends at all, but a party of about ten enemy 
machines. He was immediately attacked by 
one of the hostile machines, but after a short 


Loyal North Lancashire Regt. 

fight it vanished, damaged, behind the enemy 
lines. Five other machines then attacked the 
lonely airman at long range ; but he dispersed 
these on coming to close quarters, after seriously 
damaging two of them. The airman might 
well have been content with such a splendid 
result against overwhelming odds, but he was 
far from satisfied, and seeing two other enemy 
machines going westward he gave chase. On 
getting nearer, however, he was wounded in the 
thigh, and so temporarily lost control of his 
machine. Fortunately he soon righted it, and 
instantly closed with the enemy, firing, until 
his ammunition was quite exhausted, at a 
range of only a few yards. " He then returned 
home," to quote the official words and they 
crown the cool splendour of the deed " landing 
his machine safely in our lines." 

On September 11, 1916 there was published 
the list of twenty awards of the Cross which 
formed one of the most moving collections of 
heroic deeds ever brought together. There 




was at times a regrettable vagueness in the 
official details ; a want of clearness and cohesion 
which made it difficult to grasp the grandeur 
of an achievement, and it was open to question 
whether it was needful to suppress all indi- 
cation of locality and date and even of the 
theatre of war. 

Initiative and inspiring example marked the 
deeds for which the Cross was given to six of 
the twenty Captain (temporary Lieut. -Col.) 
Adrian Carton de Wiart, D.S.O. , Dragoon 
Guards ; Drummer Walter Ritchie, Seaforth 
Highlanders ; Private John Leak, Australian 
Infantry ; Second Lieut. Arthur Seaforth 
Blackburn, Australian Infantry ; Corporal 
George Sanders, West Yorkshire Regiment, and 
Private James Hutchinson, Lancashire Fusi- 
liers. It was largely owing to Colonel Carton 
de Wiart's " dauntless courage and inspiring 
example " that a serious reverse was averted. 
In forcing our attack home he showed the 
utmost energy and courage, stubbornly main- 
taining ground regardless of cost. In organizing 
positions and supplies he unhesitatingly exposed 
himself, and passed unflinchingly through fire 
barrage of the most intense kind. Drummer 
Ritchie's act was of the sort that never fails in 
its purpose when the British soldier is concerned. 
Solely following his own inclination he reached 

and stood on the parapet of an enemy trench 
and repeatedly sounded the " Charge," the 
thrilling notes of which rose high above the 
sound of heavy machine-gun fire and bursting 
bombs. The situation was critical, for men 
had lost their leaders and had become dis- 
organized, and some were wavering and retiring; 
but the scattered units rallied to the drummer's 
call and followed his inspiring lead. Having 
done this fine work he steadfastly pursued his 
duty by carrying messages over fire-swept 
ground throughout the day. 

Blackburn and Leak added to the glorious 
reputation which the Australians had won by 
such achievements as those for which Victoria 
Crosses were awarded for their valour at Lone 
Pine Trenches in the Gallipoli Peninsula, on the 
night of August 9, 1915. Blackburn was directed, 
with 50 men, to drive the enemy from a strong 
point. So determined was he to carry out the 
purpose he had in mind that he personally led 

Seaforth Highlanders. 



four separate bombing parties against an enemy 
trench, sustaining many casualties in doing so. 
II. took 250 yards of trench in face of fierce 
opposition, thru In- crawled forward, with a 

Australian Infantry. 

sergeant, to reconnoitre, and having done that 
he returned and attacked and captured 150 
yards more of the trench, and established 
communication with the battalion on his left. 

Leak also distinguished himself in the difficult 
capture of an enemy strong point. He jumped 
out of a trench, rushed forward' under heavy 
machine-gun fire at close range, and threw 
three bombs into an enemy post from which 

So admirable was his leading and so infectious 
was his example that when reinforcements 
came up the whole trench was recaptured. 

Very splendid was the deed of Corporal 
Sanders. As so often happened in the advances 
against hostile trenches, he found himself 
isolated and thrown upon his own resource- 
fulness. Thirty men were with him, and this 
small band he organized defensively, instilling 
into their receptive hearts the stern need of 
holding their position at whatever cost. One 
night passed, and when the morning came he 
repelled an enemy attack and rescued some 
prisoners who had fallen into the hands of the 
foe. Later on two strong bomb attacks were 
beaten off. The day passed slowly, and it was 
not until after 36 hours of most exhausting 
effort that Sanders was relieved, and brought 
the survivors of his party, 19 strong, back to 
our trenches. The task which had been fulfilled 
was one that needed special courage and en- 
durance, and it was made infinitely more 
difficult by the fact that throughout the whole 
of the 36 hours the party were without food and 
water, for during the first night, unmindful of 
their own extremity and urgent need, they had 
given all their water to the wounded. 

Then came the case of Private Hutchinson. 
" This gallant soldier " was the leader in an 
attack, and entering an end trench he shot 



Australian Infantry. 


Lancashire Fusilier-,. 



West Yorkshire Regt. 

bombs were being thrown and outranging our 
own ; then he jumped into the post and 
bayongted three unwounded enemy bombers. 
Subsequently, when his party was forced to fall 
back before overwhelming numbers, he kept on 
bombing and was always the last to withdraw. 

two. sentries and promptly cleared two of the 
traverses. The purpose of the assault having 
been achieved and a retirement ordered, 
Hutchinson on his own initiative undertook the 
dangerous task of covering the retirement, so 
well and bravely acting that the wounded were 



removed in safety. And he did all this despite 
the fact that from first to last he was exposed 
to fierce fire from rifles and machine gvms at 
close quarters. 

it necessary to leave the officer in a shell-hole ; 
but at dusk the undaunted Veale went out 
again with volunteers to bring him in. This 
dangerous task was being carried out when an 

Devonshire Regt. 

Australian Infantiy. Australian Infantry. 

Secondly, the score of awards published on 
September 11, 1916, included a considerable 
proportion of cases in which the Cross was 
given for that display of unselfish heroism 
with which the honour is inseparably asso- 
ciated. There were six such cases those cf 
Private Theodore William Henry Veale, Devon- 
shire Regiment ; Thomas George Turrall, Wor- 
cestershire Regiment ; Robert. Quigg, Royal 
Irish Rifles ; William Frederick Faulds, South 
African Infantry, and Martin O'Meara and 
William Jackson, Australian Infantry. All 
these men were privates, and theirs were the 
old, yet ever new and noble, tales of rescues 
of brother soldiers in the face of almost certain 

Take the case of Veale, of the " Bloody 
Eleventh." He was twenty-four years old. 
He heard that a wounded officer was lying out 
in the front, and promptly went in search. The 
soldier found the officer " lying amidst growing 
corn within fifty yards of the enemy." He 
dragged him to a shell-hole, returned for water, 
and took it out. He meant to carry in the 
officer, but found that he could not do this 
single-handed, and so he went back for help. 
Volunteers were available volunteers were 
never wanting in the British forces when there 
was exciting work to do against an eneiry 
and with two of them Veale returned to the 
wounded officer. They secured him and 
began to carry him away. While doing this 
one of the party was killed, and heavy fire made 

enemy patrol was seen approaching ; but the 
British soldier was not to be robbed of the 
triumph which he had so hardly fought for and 
was so nearly his. He instantly went back 
and got a Lewis gun, and with the fire of this 
he so well covered his party that the officer 

PRIVATE T. G. Tl'RRALL (Worcestershire 

Regt.) shows his Cross to his little daughter on 

leaving the Palace. 



was carried into safety. Vealc, in a letter 
home he was the son of a builder at Dart- 
mouth gave an account of the rescue. He 
said that while he was in the trenches a cry for 
help was heard in front. A few minutes 
previously a man had been seen waving his 
hand, and it was supposed that a German 
wished to surrender. But on hearing the cry 
Veale left the trench, crossed the open under 
fire, and was surprised to find a wounded 
British officer close to the Germans. " I 
crawled back again," he said, " and got two 
more men and a corporal to come out with a 
waterproof sheet, which we put him on. We 
got about eighty yards, and when going over 
a bit of a bridge they shot the corporal through 
the head. I made the officer comfortable in a 
hole. I went back for a team and also for 
water. When evening came I led the way 
for our chaplain (Captain Duff) and Sergeant 
Smith. We reached him just before dark, 
and as we were about to carry him in we 
' spotted ' the Germans creeping up. I, not 
thinking, stood up, and ran like hell about 150 
yards to the trenches for my gun. I raced out 
again, and covered him and the others while 
they got him in." 

South African Infantry. 

Another wounded officer gave cause to Private 
Turrall to display his splendid qualities as a 
fighting man. The officer in charge of a small 
party carrying out a bombing attack against 
the enemy was badly wounded, and the party, 
which had penetrated the position to a great 
depth, was forced to retire. For three hours, 
under continuous fire from machine guns and 

bombs, completely cut oft from our own 
troops, Turrall stood by the wounded officer, 
and when our counter-attack had made it 
possible to do so he carried him into our lines. 
Quigg's case was very similar. Early one 
morning, after he had advanced three times to 
the assault, he heard that his platoon officer 
was lying out wounded, and so, not once nor 


Yorkshire Regt. 

twice, but seven times, he went to look for 
him, under heavy shell and machine-gun fire. 
The record said nothing more of the wounded 
officer, but each time he went out Quigg 
brought in a wounded man, the last being 
dragged in on a waterproof sheet from within 
a few yards of the enemy's wire. Quigg was 
engaged for seven hours in " this most gallant 
work, and finally was so exhausted that he had 
to give it up." 

Jackson's conduct was singularly brave. 
Several members of a party which was returning 
from a successful raid were seriously wounded 
by shell fire in " Xo Man's Land." Jackson 
got back safely, with a prisoner. Handing over 
the captive he at once went out again and 
helped to rescue a wounded man. He set 
forth afresh on the same desperate errand, 
and succeeded so far that, with a sergeant, he 
was bringing in another wounded man ; but 
his arm was blown off by a shell, and the 
sergeant was stunned. In spite of his terrible 



injury Jackson managed to return to our 
trenches and get help, and, not content with 
that, he went out again to look for his two 
wounded comrades ; setting from first to last 
a splendid example of coolness, courage and 

Yorkshire Regt. 

Martin O'Meara received the Cross for 
repeatedly going out and bringing in wounded 
officers and men, from " No Man's Land," 
under the inevitable heavy fire, his deeds 
extending over four days of very heavy fighting. 
In addition to this O'Meara volunteered and 
carried up ammunition and bombs through a 
heavy barrage to a portion of the trenches, 
showing an utter contempt of danger, and 
undoubtedly saving many lives. 

Remaining in the list of the living recipients 
amongst the twenty was Private William 
Frederick Faulds, who afforded another splendid 
example of unflinching courage crowned with 
success. A bombing party under Lieutenant 
Craig tried to rush across forty yards of ground 
which lay between the British and the enemy 
trenches, but most of them were killed or 
wounded in the attempt. Craig was unable to 
move, and he lay helpless on the fully-exposed 
ground between the two lines of trench. To 
add to the extreme peril of the situation it was 
full daylight. But Private Faulds, with two 
other men, climbed over the parapet, ran out, 
and picked up the helpless officer and carried 
him back ; one of Faulds's companions was 
severely wounded. Two days later Faulds 
went out again, but this time alone, to bring in 
a wounded man. He carried his burden to a 
dressing station nearly half a mile away, 

afterwards rejoining his platoon, and did all 
this notwithstanding the continuance of an 
artillery fire so intense that it was believed 
that any attempt to bring in the wounded 
would result in certain death. 

Such were the various acts which marked 
the granting of a dozen of the twenty Crosses ; 
even more moving were the remaining eight, 
for these were given to the dead, so that their 
w\rk might follow them and they might live 
aga'.n in memory. A very striking fact was 
that no fewer than three of the eight Crosses 
were awarded to late members of the Yorkshire 
Regiment Temporary Major Stewart Walter 
Loudoun-Shand, Temporary Second Lieutenant 
Donald Simpson Bell, and Private William 
Short. Loudoun-Shand's last act was reminis- 
cent of the courage which Grenville showed 
off the Azores, and bluff old Benbow displayed 
when, hurt to death, he sat on a chair on deck 
and continued to direct the battle. The 
major, whose company, in trying to climb over 
the parapet to attack the enemy's trenches, 
was temporarily stopped by very fierce machine- 
gun fire, instantly leaped on to the parapet, 
helped them over it, and encouraged them in 
every way ; nor did he stop even when mor- 
tally wounded, for he insisted on being propped 
up in the trench, and did not cease his effort 
till he died. Bell saved many lives, and 

Yorkshire Regt. 

ensured the success of an attack by creeping 
up a communication trench and then, followed 
by Corporal Colwill and Private Batey, rushing 
acriiss llie lire-swept open and attacking a 
machine-gun, shooting the firer with his 
revolver, and destroying the gun and the 



erew with l)()inl)s. Five (lays later, while per- 
forming a very similar act of resource and 
valour, tho young ollicer was killed. Short's 
act was well worthy to rank with his officer's 
aehievements. Foremost in the assault for 
nearly a year he had constantly volunteered 
for dangerous enterprises he was bravely 
bombing the enemy when he was severely 
wounded in the foot. He was urged to go back, 
but refused, and went on with his bomb- 
throwing. Later a shell shattered his leg, so 
that he could not stand, but he lay in the 
trench, and his indomitable spirit enabled him 
to adjust detonators and straighten the pins of 
bombs for his comrades. He died before he 
could be taken from the trench. 

In the work of saving life Temporary Lieu- 
tenant Geoffrey St. George Shillington Cather, 
Royal Irish Fusiliers, lost his own. From 
seven o'clock at night until midnight he 
searched the deadly " No Man's Land " and 
brought in three wounded men. He continued 
his search at eight next morning, brought in a 


Temp. Chaplain to the Forces (4th Class). 

fourth wounded man, and arranged for the 
subsequent rescue of others, to whom he gave 
u ater. \t half-past ten he took out water to 
another man, and was going farther when he 
was killed. The whole of his devoted duty was 
done under fire and in full view of the enemy. 
Dramatic was the end of Private James 

Miller, Royal Lancaster Regiment, who was 
ordered to take an important message, under 
heavy shell fire, and bring back a reply at all 
costs. He was forced to cross the open, and 
as soon as he had left the trench he was shot 
through the back, the bullet coming out 

[Strain e 

Royal Irish Fusiliers. 

through the abdomen ; yet, compressing with 
his hand the gaping wound which had been 
made, he delivered his message, then staggered 
back with his answer, and, having delivered it 
to an officer, fell at his feet. 

Private Thomas Cooke, Australian Infantry, 
was ordered, after a Lewis gun had been dis- 
abled, to take his gun and gun team to a 
dangerous part of the line. He obeyed, and 
did fine work ; but at last he was the only man 
left. Alone he remained at his post and went 
on firing the gun ; and he was found dead 
beside it when help was sent. 

Magnificent conduct throughout a day by 
Company Sergeant-Major Nelson Victor Carter, 
Royal Sussex Regimont, was ended by hia 
death. He was in command of the fourth 
\\iivo of an attack, and managed with a few 
men to reach -the. enemy's second line, where 
he caused heavy loss with bombs. He was 
forced to retire to the enemy's first line, but 
captured a machine gun and shot the gunner 
with his revolver. He then carried several 
wounded men into safety, but was mortally 
wounded, and died in a few minutes. 

Again a bomber, Private William Frederick 
^IcKiidzean, Royal Irish Rifles, knowing well 
his peril, gave his life in his determination to 
save others. He was in a concentration 



Royal Lancaster Regt. 

Royal Sussex Regt. 


Royal Irish Rifles. 

trench, opening a box of bombs for distribu- 
tion before an attack, when the box slipped down 
into the trench, which was crowded with men, 
and two of the safety-pins fell out. McFadzean 
instantly realised the danger to his comrades.- 
and heroically hurled himself upon the bombs. 
These exploded, and the private was blown to 
pieces but only one other man was injured. 

The list of twelve Crosses, which was an- 
nounced on September 26, 1916, was headed 
by the name of a clergyman the Rev. W. R. F. 
Addison, temporary Chaplain to the Forces, 
who had had a varied early life and had 
roughed it in a Canadian lumber camp. He 
was of the robust fighting parson type, and set 
a rousing example. He carried a wounded man 
and helped several others to the cover of a 
trench, after binding up their wounds under 
heavy fire from rifles and machine guns. He 
encouraged, too, stretcher-bearers who were 
under heavy fire to go forward and collect the 

Several kindred acts were the cause of t he- 
award to others of the twelve. Sergeant C. C. 
Castleton, Australian Machine Gun Section, 
gave his life most nobly during an attack on 
the enemy's trenches. Twice, under intense 
fire, he went out, and each time brought in a 
wounded man on his back ; he had gone out 
for the third time, and was returning with 
another wounded man, when lie was shot in 
the back and instantly killed. For helping 
wounded men under fire, and for carrying a 
wounded man into safety, under very dangerous 
conditions, the Cross was awarded to Second 
Lieutenant E. K. Myies, Welsh Regiment, who, 

on several occasions had gone out alone. Acts 
of just the same nature were those of Corporal 
S. W. Ware, ' Seaforth Highlanders, who sacri- 
"ficed his life in saving others ; Private J. H. 
Fynn, South Wales Borderers, who, in Meso- 
potamia, helped and saved wounded under 
continuous fire, and Captain A. B. Buchanan, 
also of the South Wales Borderers, who, 
amongst other acts, saved a brother officer 
who was severely wounded. This officer, 
during an attack, was lying out in the open, 
about 150 yards from cover. Of two men 
who went to help him one was hit instantly, 
whereupon Buchanan unhesitatingly went out 

Australian Machine Gun Corps. 




and, with the help of tin- other man. carried 
tin- wounded officer to cover, to the inevitable . 
accompaniment of gun and rifle fusillade. 
Still under heavy lire. Buchanan returned and 

dug-outs, and at last climbed out of his trench 
and assisted the last man over the parapet. 
From this time he was not seen, though parties 
searched for him, and doubtless his devotion 

Liverpool Regt. 

Welsh Regt. 

Seaforth Highlanders. 

completed his gallant achievement by bringing 
in the wounded man. 

Very noble was the manner of the death of 
Edward Felix Baxter, a second lieutenant of the 
Liverpool Regiment. During two nights, be- 
fore a raid on a hostile line, he was wire-cutting, 
so close to the enemy's trenches that the enemy 
could be heard on the other side of the parapet. 
Once, at extreme peril to himself, he smothered 
a bomb in the ground, and so prevented many 

f % 

South Wales Borderers. 

casualties and an alarm from being given to the 
enemy ; later, at the head of stormers, Baxter 
was the first man in a trench, having shot a 
sentry with his revolver ; lie helped to bomb 

claimed his life. Baxter, who was thirty years 
of age, was chief commercial master at Skerry's 
College, Liverpool. He was a very well known 
North of England motor cyclist, and won 
many successes both in track racing and road 
trials. At the outbreak of war he enlisted as a 
despatch rider; but in 1915 he obtained a 
commission in a Territorial battalion of the 
Liverpool Regiment. 

Killed while rallying and reorganising infantry 
parties who had lost their officers was the end 
of temporary Captain E. N. F. Bell, Royal 
Inniskilling Fusiliers, after doing many gallant 
tilings that did not come within the normal 
duties of his Trench Mortar Battery. Enfila- 
ding machine-gun lire having living up our 
front line, Bell crept forward and shot the 
machine gunner, then, three times, when our 
bombing parties were unable to advance to 
clear the enemy trenches, he went forward 
alone and threw trench mortar bombs amongst 
the enemy. Before he was killed, and when he 
had no more bombs available, he stood on the 
parapet, under intense fire, and with complete 
coolness and effect used a rifle on the enemy, 
who were counter-attacking. 

Another sacrifice was that of temporary 
Lieut. T. O. L. Wilkinson, Loyal North 
Lancashire Regiment, who, r.fter the most 
valiant conduct in getting an abandoned 
machine gun into action, scattered enemy 
bombers ; then he made two exhausting efforts 



to bring in a wounded man, but in the second 
attempt, just before reaching the man, he was 
shot through the heart. 

" His conduct throughout was magnificent," 
was the official comment in the case of Private 
A. Hill, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. His battalion 
having deployed under very heavy fire for 
an attack on the enemy in a wood, Hill dashed 
forward, and unexpectedly meeting two of the 
enemy, bayoneted them both. Ordered later 
to get into touch with the company, he dis- 
covered that he was cut off and was almost 


surrounded by about twenty of the enemy. 
No such craven thought as surrender entered 
this British soldier's mind instantly he set to 
work to scatter and confound his enemies, and 
did both, for when he had finished hurling 
bombs at them he had killed and wounded 
many and the rest had fled, leaving him in 
triumph on his own especial battlefield. After 
this glorious deed Hill joined a sergeant of his 
company and helped him to fight his way back 
to the lines ; but he was not even then satisfied, 
for, hearing that his Company Officer and a 





MI. ut were lying wounded, he went out and 
helped to bring in the wounded ollieer. while, 
happily, the scout was rescued by two other 
ini'ii. Add to these things the capture of two 
of the enemy and bringing them in as prisoners. 
and the record is completed of the achievements 


Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 

for which, on an unnamed date, in an un- 
mentioned place, Hill won the Victoria Cross. 

The list of twelve was completed by the 
addition to the Indians who had specially 
distinguished themselves by gaining the Cross 
of Naik Shahamad Khan, Punjabis. He, while 
in charge ot a machine-gun section in an 
exposed position, showed extraordinary deter- 
mination and courage in preventing the enemy 
from penetrating our line. The corporal beat 
off three counter attacks, and worked his gun 
single-handed after all his men except two 
belt-fillers had become casualties. After his 
^'iiii was knocked out by hostile fire he and 
the two fillers held their ground with rifles and 
did not withdraw until ordered to do so. Three 
men were sent to help the naik, and with these 
he brought not only his gun but also his 
ammunition back and a severely wounded man 
who was unable to walk. This exhausting work 
he crowned by returning and removing all the 
remaining arms and equipment, except two 

The story was told of one of the recipients of 
the Cross that he rallied his command to the 
tune of an old hunting horn. This wiw 
Lieutenant-Colonel J. V. Campbell, Coldstream 

Cuiinls. who luvd been r.ppo'nted to the D.S.O. 
for services in the South African war. Colonel 
Campbell headed a list of fifteen recipients, 
published on October 2(>, 1916, which contained 
three outstanding instances the case of Major 
W. La Touche Congreve, D.S.O., M.C., Kille 
Brigade, son of a V.C. hero; Captain X. ('.. 
Chavasse, M.C., M.B., R.A.M.C., son of a 
bishop, and " Todger " Jones, a private of the 
Cheshire Regiment who, single-handed, cap- 
tured 102 prisoners. 

Colonel Campbell's conduct was distinguished 
by personal gallantry and initiative which, 
" at a very critical moment turned the fortunes 
of the day and enabled the division to press on 
and capture objectives of the highest tactical 
importance." The two first waves of his 
battalion had been decimated by machine-gun 
and rifle fire, and, seeing this, he took personal 
command of the third line, rallied his men and 
valiantly led them against the enemy machine 
guns, which he captured, killing the personnel. 

D.S.O., Coldstream Guardr. 

Later in the day, after consultation with other 
unit commanders, he again rallied the survivors 
of his battalion, and at a most critical moment 
led them against the objective through a very 
heavy hostile fire barrage ; and he was one of 
the first to enter the enemy trench. Subse- 
quently Brigadier-General Campbell he had 



boon promoted who was master of the Tanat 
Hunt, and Major Longueville, D.S.O., were at 
Oswestry presented by the Mayor, on behalf 
of 'the inhabitants, with addresses recording 
the deeds for which they had received their 
honours. Describing the charge which was 
made, the general said that though the Cold- 
stream Guards suffered heavy losses, yet when 
they reached the journey's end he turned to 
Longueville and said, " Never mind ; Tanat 
side has it ! " 

Congreve's high courage was displayed during 
a period of fourteen days before he lost his life 

North Lancashire Regiment. 

while calmly doing his duty. His gallant 
deeds were constant and his personal example 
was at all times an inspiration to those around 
him. In addition to showing this great 
bravery consistently he performed several of 
those acts of valour for the recognition of which 
the Cross exists. When Brigade Headquarters 
were heavily shelled, with many casualties 
resulting, he helped the medical officer to 
remove the wounded to places of safety, 
though he was suffering severely from gas 
and other shell effects. On a later occasion 
he showed "sup; em 5 courage" in tending 
wounded under heavy shell fire. Finally 
returning to the front line to ascertain the 
situation after an unsuccessful attack, he was 
shot and instantly killed whilst writing his 

In all the personal presentations by the 
King of decorations to next-of-kin there was 
no case more striking than that of Major 
Congreve, for he was the first officer in the 
British Army to win the V.C., the D.S.O. and 

the M.C. There were circumstances which 
gave the instance unusual interest and invested 
it with sadness, for the gallant officer was the 
son of a V.C. hero Lieutenant-General W. N. 
Congreve, C.B., who was decorated for con- 
spicuous bravery in saving the guns at Colenso. 
where he was wounded and he had been but 
recently married to Miss Pamela Cynthia 
Maude, daughter of the well-known actor, 
Mr. Cyril Maude. Major Congreve received the 
D.S.O. and the M.C. for an act of great resource 
and courage, for which he had been recom- 
mended the Victoria Cross. On November 1, 

Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 

1916, at Buckingham Palace, the King pre- 
sented to the widow the decorations which had 
been awarded to the Major, and His Majesty 
said how deeply both he and the Queen re- 
gretted that so gallant an officer had died. On 
March 21, 1917, the widow gave birth to a 
daughter, and a month later the infant was 
christened at St. Paul's Cathedral, Lady Bertha 
Dawkins representing the Queen and standing 
sponsor on her behalf. 

The posthumous bestowal of the Cross on 
Major Congreve caused Field-Marshal Sir 
Evelyn Wood, V.C., to write a letter to The 
Times, in which he said : " The first name in 
the list of the gallant 15 recipients is that of 
Lieutenant -Colonel J. V. Campbell, Coldstrean. 
Guards. . . . His father, my staff officer, 
Captain the Honourable Ronald Campbell, 
Coldstretim Guards, was killed in 1879, when 
performing an act of extraordinary courage in 
my presence,* and for which, as I reported 

* Thi wns during the noaull of the 
.\'imti>iii, Zuliilaiid, on March 2S, 1879. Sir Evelyn 



officially, I should have recommended him for 
the Cross had lie survived ; an officer and a 
private who followed him received the Cross. 
More appreciative views of noble deeds have 
now amended the rules of the coveted Order." 
The marshal's letter gave special interest to the 
list of fifteen, showing, as it did, that the 
father of another of the recipients was practi- 
cally a hero of the Cross. 

Chavasse and Captain W. B. Allen, M.C., 
M.B., R.A.M.C., were worthy members of that 
exceptionally heroic band of surgeons of which 
Martin Leake may well be called the head. 
Allen, seeing that a limber had been struck by 
a shell and the ammunition exploded, causing 

without even mentioning this at the time, he 
went on with his work and did not stop until 
the last man was dressed and safely removed 
Then he went to another battery and tended 

D.S.O., M.C., Rifle Brigade. 

several casualties, rushed across the open, 
utterly regardless of the heavy fire, and began 
to dress the wounded, his promptness un- 
doubtedly preventing many of them from 
bleeding to death. Daring the first strenuous 
hour he was hit four times by pieces of shell, 
one of which fractured two of his ribs ; but. 

Wood ordered the dislodument of some Zulus, who were 
can-ing our troops i..uch loss, frotii strong natural caves 
commanding the position in which some of our wounded 
soldiers were lying. As there was some delay in cirryinf.' 
out the or>!-r<. Campbell, with Lieutenant Henry J.ysons 
nnd Private Edmun'l Fowler, both of the 2nd Battalion 
'J1>o Cameronimis, nishc.l forward over a mass of fallen 
1 oulder-. and between walls of rocks which led to a cave 
in which the enemy lay hidden. The bravo trio wi-re 
forced to advance in single file. Campbell, who was 
leading, w i- tlir first to r^-ach the mouth of the cave, 
from which the Zulus were Rring, and there he met his 
ileath. Vndaunted, Lysom and Fowler, who were 
choc behind, immediate ly da-'hed at the cave, from 
which led several subterranean passages, and firing into 
tho chasm. 6=low, forced the Zulus to forsake their 
Btrcnghol 1. Lysons remained at the mouth of the cave 
for some minutes after the attack, while the fallen 
r's body wu.- carried down the slopes o Inhlobane. 


a wounded officer ; and only when this was 
done did he go to his dug-out and report his 
own injury. 

While doing the same kind of dangerous v,-o-k 
Chavasse was wounded in the side by a shell 
splinter. This injury he sustained while carry- 
ing an urgent case into safety, the journey bring 
over 500 yards of shell-swept ground. After- 
wards at night he took up a party of twenty 
volunteers, rescued three wounded men from 
a shell hole only twenty-five yards from the 
enemy trench, buried the bodies of two officers, 
and collected many identity discs -and these 
things he did although he was fired on by 
machine guns and bombs. Besides these acts 
Chavasse for four hours had searched for 
wounded on the ground in front of the enemy's 
lines. In all he saved the lives of some 
twenty wounded men, apart from the ordinary 
oases which passed through his hands ; 
and " his courage and self-sacrifice were 
beyond praise." This officer was a son of the 
Bishop of Liverpool, and was a well-known 

Sergeant Albert Gill. King's Royal Rifle 
Corps, courted almost certain death and it 
came to him. The right flank of the battalion 
was very strongly counter-attacked, and the 
enemy, after killing all the company bombers, 
rushed the bombing post. Gill at once rallied 
the remnants of his platoon, none of whom 
were skilled bombers, and reorganized his 



defences, this being a most difficult and dan- 
gerous task, as the trench was very shallow and 
much damaged Creeping up through the 
thick undergrowth, the enemy soon afterwards 

CAPT. W. B. A. ALLEN, M.C., M.B., R.A.M.C. 

to duty. His platoon had suffered severely in 
advancing to a forward position. Sergeant 
Jones led forward the remainder, and having 
occupied the position, held it for two days and 
nights, without food or water, till he was re- 
lieved. On the second day he drove back three 
counter-attacks, inflicting heavy losses, and 
it was entirely due to him that the men 
retained their confidence and held their post. 

There were many instances of these displays 
of tenacity by starving men. Captain A. C. T. 
White, Yorkshire Regiment, for four days and 
nights, under heavy fire, repeatedly attacked, 
held a position at a redoubt, and finally, by a 
very bold and clever counter-attack, cleared 
the enemy, who had assaulted in greatly 
superior numbers, out of the southern and 
western faces. Though short of supplies and 
ammunition his determination never wavered ; 
he repeatedly risked his life, and was the life 
and soul of the defenders. 

Second Lieutenant G. G. Coury, South Lan- 

Liverpool Regiment. 

King's Royal Rifles. 

I. CLARKE, Canadian Infantry. 

nearly surrounded the courageous sergeant's 
little band, and at about twenty yards' range 
began sniping. To be exposed was almost 
certain death, yet the sergeant took his chance 
in standing up to direct the fire of -his men. 
He was killed immediately, but before he fell, 
a splendid example of supreme devotion to 
duty, he had saved a very dangerous situation ; 
he had shown his men where the enemy were, 
and thus enabled them to hold up their advance. 
Another sergeant David Jones, Liverpool 
Regiment showed great ability in handling 
his troops and uncommon bravery and devotion 

cashire Kegiment, also set a fine example to 
his men under intense fire, and when his 
battalion had suffered heavy losses and the 
commanding officer had been wounded, he 
went out in front of the advanced position, 
found the officer, and brought him back. 
This was done in broad daylight, in full view 
of the enemy, and over fire-swept ground. 

Private (acting Corporal) Leo Clarke, also 
of the Canadian Infantry, though wounded, 
held on to and completed a gallant task. He 
was detailed with his section of bombers for 
some dangerous work, and in doing it most of 



his party became casualties. Whilst lie was 
building a " block " he was counter-attacked 
by a party of about twenty of the enemy, witli 
two officers. Clarke advanced towards them, and 
after emptying his revolver discharged two 
enemy rifles which he had picked up. One of 
the enemy officers then attacked him with a 
bayonet and wounded him in the leg, but 
Clarke shot him dead, whereupon the enemy 
ran away, pursued by the corporal, who did 
not desist until he had shot four more and 
captured a fifth. The corporal was later 
ordered to the dressing-station, but he returned 
to duty next day. Clarke afterwards died.* 

Another of these fifteen recipients, Private 
Thomas Hughes, Connaught Rangers, having 

Connaught Rangers. 

* The first presentation of a Victoria Cross in Canada 
was made by the Governor-General, the Duke of lv\ <>n- 
shire. This was done in the cose of Corporal Clarke who 
came from Winnipeg, the deeoration being piven to Ins 
representative. It was estimated that more than 30,000 
people attended the ceremony. 

Yorkshire Regt. 

been wounded in an attack, had his wounds 
dressed and immediately returned to the firing 
line. Seeing an enemy machine gun, he dashed 
out in front of his company, shot the gunner, 
and, single-handed, captured the gun. He was 
again wounded, but managed to bring in three 
or four prisoners as a finish to his bravery and 

A Scots Guardsman, Lance-Sergeant Fred 
McXess, was another recipient of the Cross, 
who carried on when wounded very severely 
in the neck and jaw. Leading his men with 
tho greatest dash in a heavy engagement, he 
reached the enemy's first-line trenches. Finding 
that the left flank was exposed and that the 
enemy was bombing down the trench, McNesa 
organized and led a counter-attack. Despite 
his wounds, lie continued to pass through the 
barrage of hostile bombs so that he could 
bring up fresh supplies of bombs to his own 
men. Until he was utterly exhausted by loss 
of Mood he, after establishing a "block," 
continued to throw bombs mid encourage his 
men. . 

It seemed, indeed, as if wounds became a 
matter of course and no excuse for not carrying 
on, for another recipient, Sergeant W. E. 
Boulter, Northamptonshire Regiment, during 
an attack on a wood was severely wounded in 
the shoulder. But Boulter advanced alone 
over the open under heavy fire and bombed a 


hostile gun team from their position. This 
gallant act saved many casualties, and it was 
of great military value, for it materially 
expedited tho task of clearing the wood of the 

South Lancashire Regt. 

enemy, and so covering the flank of the whole 
attacking force. 

Some of tho doings of tho winners of the 
Cross, especially the men in the ranks, were of 
a nature to reduce any enemy to despair. 
There was the ease of Private " Todger " 
Jones. " Todgor's " real name was Thomas 
Alfred. While with his company consolidating 
the defences in front of a village he saw an 

enemy sniper 200 yards away. He went out, 
and though one bullet went through his hull net 
and another through his coat, yet he returned 
the sniper's fire and killed him. " Todger " 
then saw two more of the enemy firing at him, 
although they were showing the white flag. 
He had been warned of the misuse of the white 
nng by the enemy, but this did not prevent 
him from going out and making for an enemy 
trench. He engaged and shot tho two snipers, 
nnd, having disposed of the three whom he 
could reach with his rifle, he, single-handed 
and unsupported, held on until he reached the 
trench, whore he found several occupied dug- 
outs. Still alone, and in the utmost peril, 
" Todger " Jones methodically set to work 
and " disarmed 102 of the enemy, including 
three or four officers, arid marched them back 
to our lines through a heavy barrage." That 
was the official statement regarding an act of 
unsurpassed audacity and success. A sergeant 
who witnessed the deed said that while they 
were under fire Jones exclaimed, " If I'm to be 
killed I'll bo killed fighting and not digging." 
" Todger " then seized his rifle and made his 
way towards the German trench. Afterwards, 
when his comrades joined him, they found him 
standing by his prisoners in a big hollow. He 
was threatening them with bombs and they 
were all holding up their hands. The soldier 
ordered the captives to put on their coats, and 
his comrades helped him to round them up. 

Northamptonshire Regt., receiving the congratulations of his friends. 



Ot his own deed " Todger " modestly said that 
when ho reached the ntrauce of the dug-outs 
be addressed a German, who spoke good 
English, and tokl him that if the lot did not 
surrender " our lads would be over in thousands 
and cut them to pieces. He gave them tho 

" Todger " Jones's exploit was paralleled by 
that of Lieutenant J. V. Holland, Leinster 
Regiment, gazetted at the same time. He 
gallantly headed a party of bombers against 
dug-outs, starting with twenty-six and finishing 
with only five ; but he hail captured about 

Canadian Infantry. 


Leinster Regt., with his bride. 

message, and they came out of the dug-out 
one by one." The sergeant declared that the 
men in the trencher went almost wild when 
" Todger " returned at the head of his prisoners. 
Later on "Todger'' ur,ex|.< c -teilly returned to 
his home at Ruiicorn, and \vas yiven such an 
Overwhelming reception that he sought refuge 
by taking to his heels down a side street and 
rushing into his old parents' house. 

JONES, Cheshire Regt. Scots Guards. 

fifty prisoners. He was far from well when he 
did this, and later was forced to go to hospital. 
This extraordinary feature of prisoner- 
making characterised another deed that of 
Private J. C. Kerr, Canadian Infantry, who was 
bayonet man during a bombing attack. He 
found that bombs were running short, and 
running along the parados under heavy fire 
until he was close to the enemy, he opened fire 
at point-blank range and inflicted heavy loss. 
Thinking that they were surrounded, the 
enemy sxirrendered, and sixty-two prisoners 
and 250 yards of trench were taken. Kerr's 
courage and devotion were shown by the fact 
that before the attack one of his fingers had 
been blown off by a bomb. Afterwards, with 
two men, he escorted back the prisoners under 
fire, and then returned to report himself for 
duty before having his wounds dressed. 

The Gazelle of November 25, 1916, announced 
the award of the Cross to three officers, two 
serueants and two privates. This list of seven 
recipients was notable because one of the officers, 
though only a young lieutenant of about 
twenty-three years of age, held the rank of 
Lieutenant-colonel. This was Lieutenant 
(temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) Roland Boys 
Bradford, Durham Light Infantry, who had 
already received the Military Cross. The list 
wns further interesting because the two privates 
belonged to the Middlesex Regiment, the old 
" Die-Hards." Bradford afforded one more 
instance of brilliant leadership in a very young 



officer saving a critical situation. His battalion 
was in support on the right flank of his brigade 
and of the Division. A leading battalion had 
suffered very severe casualties and the com- 
mander had been wounded and its flank had 
become dangerously exposed at close quarters 
to the enemy. The peril of the situation was 
increased by the fact that the battalion was 
raked by machine-gun fire. Bradford, at the 
request of the wounded commander, asked to be 
allowed to command the exposed battalion 
as well as his own ; and on permission being 
given he immediately hurried to the foremost 
lines, and " by his fearless energy under fire of 
all descriptions, and his skilful leadership of 
the two battalions, regardless of all danger, he 
succeeded in rallying the attack, captured and 
defended the objective, and so secured the flank." 
Fearless leadership and great resource 
characterised the acts for which the Cross was 
awarded to Temporary Second Lieutenant Tom 
Edwin Adlam, Bedfordshire Regiment, that 
fine Old Sixteenth whose conduct in the war 
had put aside for ever the genial gibe of " The 
Peacemakers " and " Thou Shalt Not Kill," 
for at one time the regiment had no honours 
on its colours and its first Cross was not gained 
until May 1, 1915, when, near Hill 60, the gallant 
Private Edward Warner entered a trench which 
had been vacated by our troops owing to a 
gas-attack and, alone, displayed the utmost 
bravery. His courage cost him his life from 
gas-poisoning, but he had won the first 
Victoria Cross for his regiment. His was one 
of the minor operations of war ; so was that of 
Lieutenant Adlam, who found himself near a 
portion of a village which had defied capture 
on the previous day, yet had to be taken at all 
costs so that operations might develop. The 
subaltern, under deadly fire, hard pressed for 
time, rushed from shell-hole to shell-hole, 
collecting men for a sudden rush. For this 
purpose he also collected many enemy grenades. 
He was soon wounded in the leg, but was 
able to out-throw the enemy ; then, watching 
for and seizing his chance, he led a rush, took 
the position, and killed the occupants. This he 
did in spite of his wounds ; he also continued 
to lead his men in bomb attacks throughout the 
day. Next day he again showed the utmost 
courage. He was wounded for the second time, 
and though he was prevented from continuing 
to throw bombs, he went on leading his men, 
and by his example, valour and skill " produced 
far-reaching results." 

For twice rallying his company under the 
heaviest fire during an attack and finally 
leading the only three available men into an 
enemy trench, where he remained bombing 
until two of them had become casualties and 
enemy reinforcements had arrived, then 
carrying his wounded company-sergeant-major 
back to our trenches, a distance of 70 yards, and 
afterwards carrying three other soldiers for 
these fine things and his general valour and 
endurance Temporary Second-Lieutenant Henry 
Kelly, West Biding Regiment, was awarded the 
Cross. His conduct was in special keeping with 


Durham Light Infantry. 

the spirit of the sturdy "Havercake Lads" 
of whom he was one the old 33rd, of which the 
Duke of Wellington was in command when he 
landed at Ostend in 1794 to join the British 
Army in the Low Countries, 

The Dublin Fusiliers, whose four Crosses had 
been all gained in the Indian Mutiny, were now, 
through Sergeant Robert Downie to win their 
first Cross in the Great War. When most of 
the officers had become casualties Downie, 
reckless of danger, which was great because of 
heavy fire, moved about and reorganized the 
attack, which had been temporarily checked. 
He was alone, the situation was perilous ; but 
he rallied the wavering line by shouting, " Come 
on, the Dubs ! " He rushed as he shouted, 
and the line, fired instantly by his valour and 
enthusiasm, rushed with him. The sergeant 



hurled himself upon the enemy, and with his 
own hand accounted for several of them ; in 
addition, he rushed upon a machine-gun, killed 
the team and took the weapon, and this he 
did though he had been wounded early in the 
fight. He remained with his company and 
gave valuable help while the position was being 
consolidated. The real nature of his achieve 
ment is the better understood when it is remem- 
bered that the position was an important one 

bi avt-ry never faltering and his skill remaining 
to the lost,. Turnbul! did not live to know of 
the high honour which had been bestowed on 
him, for later in the day ho was killed while 
bombing a counter-attack from the parados of 
our trench. The official report well described 
him as " this \ery gallant soldier." 

The pair of " Die-Hards " were Private 
Frederick Jeremiah Edwards and Private 
Robert Rvder, both of whom showed amazing 

[Data M,/, 


In khaki, left to right : Private Hughes, Private Cunningham, Capt. White, Col. Bradford, 

Lieut. Palmer, and Capt. Allen. 

and that it had stubbornly resisted four or five 
previous attacks. 

Another sergeant, James Young Turnbull, 
Highland Light Infantry, included in the 
seven, showed continued and persistent courage 
during a long spell of fighting. He and his 
party had captured a post which was appar- 
ently of great importance to the enemy ; then 
he was subjected to severe counter-attai -Us 
throughout the day. The party was "wiped 
out" and repl-in d several times during the 
day, but Sergeant Turnbull never wjak?nod in 
his resolution to hold th^ post, the loss of 
which would have been very serious. Almost 
single-handed he maintained his position, his 

promptness and initiative. Kduards's part of 
the Hue was " held up " by machine -gun fire 
and all his oflicers had become casualties. In 
the confusion which followed and there wns 
indication of retirement Edwards, swiftly 
realizing the situation and acting solely on 
his own initiative, rushed out alone ton.nls 
the gun aitd knocked it out with bombs. His 
promptness, coohu>s and utter disregard of 
peril made farther advance possible and sa\ei| 
a dangerous situation. Ryder's act was pre- 
cisely the same in its essentials. His company, 
too, wa " held up " by heavy rifle fire, all his 
ofluers had become casualties, and the attack 
\\as flagging for want of leadership. 



lutely alone, Ryder dashed at the enemy 
trench, which he cleared by " skilful manipu- 
lation of liis Lewis gun." This intrepid 
assault most materially helped the subsequent 
advance of the sergeant's comrades arid was 
the means of turning what might have been a 
failure into success. 

Both Dowiiie and Turnbull belonged to 
Glasgow. It was related of Downie that he was 
one of a family of sixteen, and his wife one of 
seventeen ; and that when he left for the 
front he declared that he would bring, back 
something worth looking at not a German 
helmet, but a V.C. He was known as a fine 
boxer, and on one occasion, when outside a 
boxing booth at an English fair, he said to his 
wife: " Wait till I see this, Lily." He entered 
the booth, and on reappearing it was observed 
that he had a silver medal, also a black eye. 
Turnbull had won fame as a cricketer, and 
later, in the Army he became celebrated even 
amongst the wonderfully skilled bombers, and 
it was said that he could throw bombs farther 
than any other man in the Army. Once he 
bombed uninterruptedly for sixteen hours, the 
missiles being of German make. At another 
time he played a machine gun on the Germans 
for twelve hours on end. The spirit and 
endurance that possessed him were summed up 
in his answer to his colonel's question : "How 
do you feel ? " " As fresh as paint, sir." 

Freybcrg, of the Royal Naval Division (attached 
Royal West Surrey Regiment). This officer 
had already been appointed to the D.S.O. For 
enduring courage and brilliant leadership 
Colonel Freyberg's achievement was unsur- 
passed by any act for which the Cross was 

Middlesex Regt. 

Royal Dublin Fusiliers. 

conferred. To begin with he carried an 
initial attack straight through the enemy's 
front system of trenches, but after the capture 
of the first objective his command was much 
disorganized owing to rnist and a heavy fire of 
all descriptions. The officer personally rallied 
and re-formed Ms own men, as well as men from 
other units who had become intermixed, and 
he inspired them all with his own contempt of 
danger. In due course he led his men to the 

Highland Light Infantry. 


Bedfordshire Regt. 

West Riding Regt. 

The extraordinarily fine qualities of leader- 
ship v, hich characterised many of the British 
officers arid had been rapidly developed l.y the 
war wero illu&trated by the case of Captain 
(temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) Bernard Cyril 

successful attack of the second objective, and 
many prisoners were captured. By tliis time 
Colonel Freyberg had been twice wounded, 
but he again rallied and re-formed all the men 
who wore with him, and, although under heavy 



artillr-ry r\nd machine-gun fire ili a very ad- 
vanced position and unsupported, still he held 
his ground for the rest of tho -lay and through- 
out the night. On tho following morning, 
having been reinforced; he organized an attack 
on a strongly fortified village, and such was 
his dash and enterprise that the village was 
captured and 500 prisoners were taken. For 
the third timo the officer was wounded, and 
later in the afternoon he was again wounded, 
this time seriously, but he refused to leave 
thr) line until he had issued final instructions. 


Middlesex Regiment. 

personality, valour, and utter contempt 
of danger on the part of this single officer 
enabled the lodgment ?n the most advanced 
objective of the Corps to be permanently held, 
and on thi^ /<'//// tl'rjppui the line was eventually 
formed." Such was the close of the official 
vTsion of tho trallant colonel's performance. 
The award was gazetted on December 15, 1916, 
but, in accordance with the system which had 
been adopted for some months, no mention 
was made of the time or place of the brave and 
brilliant leadership. 

Colonel Freyberg was by birth a New 
Zealander. He was not yet twenty-eight 
years of age. Born in Wellington, he developed 
both tho physique and resourcefulness that 
were essential for the sviccess of some of the 
enterprises which he undertook in the war. 
He won fame throughout Australasia as an 
exceptionally fine swimmer ; he grew to be 
six feet in height, and broad and powerful in 
proportion ; he achieved renown as an oarsman, 
a footballer and a boxer, and his physique 
won for him the affectionate nickname of 
" Tiny." Leaving New Zealand he went to 
America, and drifting to Mexico found full 
scope for his adventurous aspirations; he 
fought in the Civil War. In 1914 Freyberg 
came home, joined the Royal Naval Division, 
and was wounded in the hand at Antwerp. 
With good service to his record he went to 
Oallipoli with his battalion, being already a 
lieutenant -commander. In Gallipoli he again 
distinguished himself. General Paris was in 
charge of a force which was to make a feint 
landing at Bulair, the narrow neck of the 
Peninsula. Freyberg was given charge of the 
party, but, while prizing the honour, he proposed 
an alternative scheme which, he believed, would 
protect the lives of the men. This idea was 
that he should take coloured flares and swim 
ashore, that he should then light the flares, 
as if a landing was anticipated, and then swim 
out again to a waiting destroyer. This lie did, 
stripping, and painting his face and shoulders 
a dark colour, so that he should not be seen 
swimming. Freyberg landed on the beach, 
lit the flares, made a reconnaisance, and swam 
off again, but owing to the darkness and the 
current he missed the boat which was to pick 
him up, and it was almost two hours before he 
was hauled on to the deck of the destroyer, 
more dead than alive. This remarkable feat 
of endurance and resourcefulness, more sug- 
gestive of an adventure from Mayne Reid or 
Fenimore Cooper than a sober act of modern 
war, won for the young officer the D.S.O. 
Tho circumstances of the winning of the Cross 
were finely told in the official story, but it 
may be added that in gaining it the young 
colonel excelled even himself. A high officer 
of his Army Corps described his act as a 
magnificent example of a " one-man show," 
and it is certain that Freyberg saved the Corps 
from serious trouble. 

Similar resourcefulness and courage were 
shown by Private Herbert William Lewis, 



Welsh Regiment, whose Cross was announced 
at the same time as Colonel Freyberg's. During 
a raid on enemy trenches this soldier was twice 
wounded, but he refused to have attention 
and coolly searched enemy dug-outs. For the 

Border Regt. 

Welsh Regt. 

third time he was wounded, but still declined 
to be attended to. Three of the enemy were 
now seen to be approaching, and single-handed, 
regardless of his wounds, this fine example of 
the British soldier attacked them and made 
them all prisoners. Retirement became im- 
perative, but while withdrawing Lewis went to 
the assistance of a wounded man, and, in spite 
of his own wounds, brought him, under heavy 
shell and rifle fire, to our own lines. Having 
done that he collapsed. These two cases, 
closely resembling each other in many respects, 
were typical of the spirit and resource which 
enabled so many British officers and men, 
against great odds and in cirumstances of 
extreme danger, to do the seemingly impossible. 
Pre-war visitors to the Bank of England 
would hardly have expected that one of the 
young bank clerks would have it officially 
said ot him that his example of cheerfulness 
and resolution were beyond all praise, and 
that his personal example of courage had 
been such that it had won for him the 
Victoria Cross. Eugene Paul Bennett, a young 
Bank of England clerk, was a temporary 
lieutenant in the Worcestershire Regiment. 
He was a born soldier and leader, and this he 
proved in the position of peril in which he was 
placed in battle. He was in action and found 
that the first wave of an attack had suffered 
heavy casualties. Its commander was killed 
and the line was wavering ; thereupon Bennett 
advanced at the head of the second wave and 
showed so much valour and resolution that he 

reached his objective, though by that time he 
had but sixty men. He then found himself 
isolated with his small party, but his cheerful 
courage and resourcefulness never left him. 
He set to work at once to consolidate his 
position, though he was under heavy rifle and 
machine-gun fire from both flanks. To add to 
his difficulties he was wounded, but he held 
bravely on, retaining his command, directing 
and controlling. His wonderful example saved 
a very dangerous situation, and the record said 
that " there is little doubt that but for his 
personal example of courage the attack would 
have been checked at the outset." Bennett 
was presented with a sword of honour by the 
Bank of England. 

This award to the bank clerk was made 
known on the last day of the year 1916. It 
was accompanied by the announcement of the 
bestowal of a Cross on an officer who had 
distinguished himself in the old and gallant 
way of rescue. This recipient was Captain 
William Anderson Bloomfield, Scouts Corps, 
South African Mounted Brigade. Again there 
were points of similarity in cases^in which the 


Royal West Surrey Regt. and Royal Naval Division. 

Cross had been awarded. Bloomfield was in an 
advanced and isolated position in which he was 
heavily attacked and some of his men were 
wounded. Finding that the enemy were 
working round his flanks, he evacuated his 
wounded, and subsequently withdrew his com- 
mand to a new position, himself being amongst 
the last to retire. When he reached the new 



position Bloomfield found that a wounded 
corporal, D. M. P. Bouker, htvd been left 
behind. The corporal was helpless ; to reach 
him meant the crossing of more than 400 yards 
of open ground swept by heavy fire. To 
attempt a resc-ne \\as to risk almost certain 
death, but the captain took the risk. He 
started out. Machine gun and rifle rained their 
bullets on the ground around him, but he 
crossed the danger zone in safety and reached 
the corporal. He secured him and faced again 
the murderous fire. For the second time he 
escaped, and with his heavy burden he returned 
to safety. This exploit was essentially of the 
character of deeds for which in earlier years 
the Victoria Cross had been almost exclusively 
awarded. . . 

Bombing and killing a party of ten of the 
enemy, amongst other exploits, while alone 
and single-handed, won the Cross for Private 

John Cunningham, a lad of nineteen years, of 
the East Yorkshire Regiment. After the 
enemy's front line had been captured Cunning- 
hum went up a communication trench with a 
bombing section, but desperate opposition soon 

[Daily Sketch. 

East Yorks. Regt. 

Worcestershire Regt. 

reduced the rest of the section to casualties?. 
Collecting all the bombs from the casualties, 
the fearless young soldier went on alone and 
hurled his bombs at the enemy until they were 
expended. Then he returned for a fresh supply, 
and with these he again proceeded to the com- 
munication trench, where he met a party of 
ten of the enemy. " These he killed and 
cleared the trench up to the enemy line." 

Private Cunningham's achievement was 
made known in the middle of January, 1917, 
and at the same time there was published the 
little story of the net for which Private David 
Ross Lander, Royal Scots Fusiliers, was 
awarded the Cross. Lander's performance 
was one of those expressions of swiftness of 
thought and execution which had become 
peculiarly associated with the winning of the 
Cross. It was a mere trifle, an episode, in 
warfare : but it had in it all the intense thrill 
of the dramatic unexpected. When with a 
bombing party retaking a sap Lander threw a 
bomb, 'which, however, failed to clear the 
parapet and fell amongst the bombing party. 
There was no time to smother the bomb and 
widespread death seemed certain, but Lauder 
instantly put his foot on the bomb. The 
explosion came and blew off the private's foot, 
but his splendid sacrifice saved the rest of 
the party, who were unhurt. 



A member of a London publishing firm, 
Lance-Sergeant Frederick William Palmer, 
Royal Fusiliers, was awarded the Cross for his 
bravery, control, and determination. Palmer 
enlisted as a private, and served with dip. 


tinction in Gallipoli. His conduct in the field 
won for him the Military Medal, and he was 
Lance-Sergeant when he achieved the honour 
of the Cross. While some operations were in 
progress all the officers of his company were shot 
down, whereupon Palmer took command. 
Under point-blank machine-gun fire he cut his 
way through wire entanglements, rushed the 
enemy's trench with six men, and having dis- 
lodged the hostile machine-gun which had 
been hampering our advance, he established 
a block. The sergeant then collected detacher! 
men from other regiments, and for nearly three 
hours held the barricade against seven deter- 
mined counter attacks, under an incessant 
barrage of bombs and rifle grenades. While 
temporarily absent, searching for more bombs, 
the enemy made an eighth counter attack, 
drove in Palmer's party, and threatened the 
defences of the whole flank. The sergeant had 
been blown off his feet by a bomb, and was 
greatly exhausted, yet he rallied his men, drove 
back the enemy, and maintained his position 
and averted what might have been a serious 
disaster. In addition to winning the Cross 
he was given a commission in his old 

The posthumous heroes of the Cross included 
two officers whose story was one of those brave 
failures which in some respects are even more 
impressive than a glorious achievement. These 

were Lieutenant Humphry Osbaldeston Brooke 
Firman, R.N., and Lieutenant-Commander 
Charles Henry Cowley, R.N.V.R., and their 
joint act of gallantry was performed in an 
attempt to re-provision the force which was 
besieged in Kut-el-Amara early in 1916. On 
the evening of April 24, at eight o'clock, the 
Julnar, with a crew from the Royal Navy 
under Firman, assisted by Cowley, left Fellahie 
in an attempt to reach Kut. The enterprise 
was of the most hazardous and desperate 
character, and all the officers and men who 
manned the little craft were volunteers. These 
were readily forthcoming, because the adven- 
ture was one that appealed with special force 
to British seamen. It was a case of running 
the gauntlet, of trying to rescue the perishing ; 
it was a repetition of one of the many forlorn 
hopes to succour a sorely pressed and gallant 
British garrison beleaguered by a powerful 

Royal Scots Fusiliers. 

enemy. The little army which was im- 
prisoned in Kut was starving and urgently in 
need of such supplies as the Julnar carried, 
and she had on board no less than 270 tons. 
The departure of the little ship was covered by 
all the artillery and machine-gun fire that could 
be brought to bear for her help and protection. 


with the object of distracting the enemy's 
attention. But the area of her operations on 
the river was narrowed and confined, and she 
was discovered by the Turks and furiously 
shelled as she steamed up the stream. There 
could be little doubt as to her fate in the heart - 
of the anxious friends who had seen her start 

(River Tigris). 

on her desperate but noble mission, and there 
was grief but not surprise when, at one o'clock 
next morning, General Townshend, who was in 
command at Kut, reported that the Julnar 
had not arrived, and that at midnight a burst 
of heavy firing, which had suddenly ceased, 
had been heard at Matrass, about 8J miles by 
river from Kut. There was no question that 
the bold venture had failed, and as a matter of 
fact next day the Air Service reported that the 
Julnar wa< in tin- hands of the Turks at Magusis. 

It was s i learned that the two officers had 

been killed, and that the rest of the crew, 
including live wounded, were prisoners of war. 
The gallant Firman had served in the Xavy 
for about fourteen years, and had the Persian 
and Somaliland medals to his credit ; and his 
brave brother oflicer, Cowley, had done uncom- 
monly good work throughout the Mesopo- 
tamian Campaign in command of the Mcdjidieh. 
In reporting on the undertaking the General 
Officer Commanding, Indian Expeditionary 
Force " D," said he trusted that the services of 
the oflicers might be recognized by the pos- 
thumous grant of some suitable honour. On 

January 31, liMT, it was announced that the 
Victoria Cross had been awarded to each of 

Even amongst the consistently splendid acts 
for which the Cross was given there were 
achievements of outstanding courage and 
endurance, and of such were the deeds of not 
a few of the posthumous recipients of the 
decoration. Nothing nobler could be imagined 
than the heroism of Sergeant Thomas Motters-, R.F.C., who gave his life in saving his 
observer, "in France." While flying at an 
altitude of 9,000 feet the petrol tank was pierced 
and the machine set on fire. " Enveloped in 
flames," the official record stated, " which his 
observer, Lieutenant Gower, was unable to 
subdue, this very gallant soldier succeeded in 
bringing his aeroplane back to our lines, and 
though he made a successful landing, the 
machine collapsed on touching the ground, 
pinning him beneath wreckage from which lie 
was subsequently rescued. Though suffering 
extreme torture from burns, Sergeant Motters- 
head showed the most conspicuous presence of 
mind in the careful selection of a landing place, 
and his wonderful endurance and fortitude un- 
doubtedly saved the life of his observer." 
Mottershead died of his injuries. On February 
12, 1917, it was announced that the King had 
awarded the Victoria Cross to him. 

It was inevitable that in a war of such vast- 
ness and complexity there should be delay in 
ascertaining and making known the facts in 
connexion with some of the deeds of valour for 
which the Victoria Cross was awarded. Such 
a case was that of Commander Loft us William 
Jones, of H.M.S. Shark, torpedo-boat destroyer, 
who was killed in the Battle of Jutland on 
May 31, 1916, but whose posthumous Cross 
was not announced by the Admiralty xmtil 
March t>, 1917. His proved to be one of the 
most moving and noble of all the splendid acts 
of the war for which honours had been given ; 
it stood out as a glorious achievement even 
amongst unsurpassed performances of officers 
and men of the Xavy. During that memorable 
light, in the afternoon Commander Loftus 
Jones led a division of destroyers to attack the 
German battle-cruiser squadron. A shell liit 
the Shark's bridge and put the steering-gear 
out of order. Very soon afterwards another 
shell disabled the main engines and left the 

* The operations in connexion with the advance 
towards Baghdad are fully described in Chapter GLVIII. 
(Vol. X.) 



vessel helpless. The commanding officer of 
another destroyer, seeing the Shark's plight, 
came between her and the enemy and offered 
help, but he was warned by Loftus Jones not 
to risk being almost certainly sunk in trying to 
assist him. Loftus Jones had been wounded 

then went to the midship and only remaining 
gun and personally helped to keep it in action. 
All this time the shattered destroyer was under 
very heavy short-range fire from enemy light 
cruisers and destroyers. The gun's crew of the 
midship gun was reduced to three, ar d of that 


in the leg, but he went aft to help to connect 
and man the after wheel. Already the fore- 
ca~tle gun and its crew had been blown away, 
and very soon the after gun and crew were 
destroyed in the same way. The commander 

valiant trio one, an able seaman, was badly 
wounded in the leg. Soon after he had reached 
the midship gun the commander had a leg shot 
away above the knee by a shell, but in spite 
of this terrible wound he continued to give 



orders to his littlo band, while a chief stoker 
improvised a tourniquet round his thigh. The 
commander maintained a wonderful courage 
and calmness, so much so that, noticing that 
the ensign was not properly hoisted, he ordered 
another to be hoisted. He now realized that 
the ship could not survive much longer, and as 
a German destroyer was closing he ordered the 
few survivors to put on lifebelts. Scarcely had 
this been done when the Shark was torpedoed 
and sank. The survivors were picked up 


(H.M.S. Shark, Jutland). 

during the night by a neutral vessel, but they 
did not include the officer who had so valiantly 
tried to save his little ship. The Distinguished 
Service Medal was awarded to the survivors of 
the Shark for their services during the action. 
These heroic men were : Stoker P.O. Charles 
Filleul, A.B. Charles Cleeberg Hope, A.B. 
Charles Herbert Smith, A.B. Joseph Owen 
Glendower Howell, Stoker 1st Class Thomas 
Wilton Swan, and P.O. William Charles Richard 
Griffin. The award to Petty Officer Griffin had 

\ n already gazetted. 

Four Crosses wen; awarded for the battle of 
Jutland those to Loftus Jones and Boy 
Cornwell (Cornwell's case will be dealt with 
presently) : one to Commander the Hon. 
K. 1!. S. Bingham, and one to Major F. J. W. 

Harvey, R. M.L.I. A striking circumstance in 
connexion with these honours was that three 
were posthumous. The survivor was Com- 
mander Bingham, who was decorated for " the 
extremely gallant way " in which, in the 
destroyer Nestor, he led his division in their 
attack, first on enemy destroyers and then on 
their battle-cruisers. The officer finally sighted 
the enemy battle fleet, and, followed by the 
one remaining destroyer of his division, the 
Nicator, he, " with dauntless courage," closed 
to within 3,000 yards of the enemy, in order to 
attain a favourable position for firing the 
torpedoes. During this attack the Nestor and 
the Nicator were under concentrated fire of 
the secondary batteries of the High Sea Fleet. 
The Nestor was subsequently sunk. At first 
reported killed, it was afterwards officially 
announced that the commander was a prisoner 
of war in Germany. Harvey was mortal Iv 
wounded, and almost the only survivor after 
the explosion of an enemy shell in " Q " gun- 
house ; yet while in this state he had presence 
of mind enough to order the magazine to be 
flooded. This cool, courageous conduct and 
devotion to duty saved the ship. Soon after 
performing this splendid act, Harvey died. 

Nearly two years passed before a striking 
sequel was officially announced to the award of 
three Victoria Crosses to a captain, a sergeant 
and a private of the 1st Battalion Lancashire 
Fusiliers, in connexion with the landing on the 
Gallipoli Peninsula. In Chapter CLII. it was 
stated : 

The right of selection which is authorized by the 
Victoria Cross Warrants was exercised in connexion witW 
the performance of many officers and men of the 1st 
Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers on April 25, 1913. 
Three companies and the headquarters, while landing at 
Gallipoli, to the west of Cape Helles, were met by a very 
deadly iire from hidden machine guns which caused a 
great number of casualties. The survivors rushed up 
and cut the wire entanglements, in spite of a terrific 
fire from the enemy, and, after " supreme difficulties, " 
the cliffs wore gained and the position maintained. 
This was one of the cases in which many men D;>rforrn 
many acts of valour, when, indeed, all participants 
deserve the decoration of the Cross. Not alL however, 
couki have the distinction awarded to them, and 
acci.'rdii.ply it was loft to the survivors to select the 
recipients, and their choice fell on a gallant trio composed 
of Captain Kir-hard Raymond Willis, Se-geant Alfred 
Richards and Private William Keneally, all ot the 1st 
I'-altalion of the fine old 20th Regiment of Foot. 

These awards were made known in the 
London Gazette of August 24, 1915 ; on March 
15, 1917, it was officially announced that the 
Victoria Cross had been awarded to Captain 
(temporary Major) Cuthbert Bromley (since 
drowned), Sergeant Frank Edward Stubbs 




(since died of wounds) and Corporal (now Ser- 
geant) John Grimshaw, 1st Battalion Lanca- 
shire Fusiliers, in connexion with the operations 
on April 25, 1915. The wording of the last- 
named awards was almost identical with that 
of the awards to Willis, Richards and Keneally, 
and Bromley, Stubbs and Grimshaw were also 
selected by their comrades as having performed 
the most signal acts of bravery and devotion 
to duty during the landing. The gallant 
Bromley's fate was tragic. After the landing 
he was wounded and sent to Alexandria. He 
returned to Gallipoli and was again wounded. 
He had recovered and was on his way back to 
rejoin his division when he was drowned in the 
loss of the Royal Edward on August 14, 1915. 
An interesting incident was a note accompany- 
ing the announcement of March 15 stating that 
consequent on the award of the Victoria Cross, 
the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal 
to Grimshaw, which was gazetted on November 
16, 1915, was cancelled. 

A high tribute to Bromley as a comrade and 
leader was paid by a correspondent in The 
Times of March 26, 1917. Of Bromley, who 
was the eldest son of Sir John Bromley, of 
Sutton Corner, Seaford, he said : 

It was the wonderful spirit fostered by Bromley during 
years of camaraderie and fine example in the regiment 
which fcroucht success at Cape Helles on the early morn- 
ing of April 25, 1915. His personal influence was im- 
measurable. He had made the Lancasliire Fusiliers the 
champions in all India in military training, boxing, 
football, and cross-country running. Tho^e men who 
followed him ashore under hellisb fire had true discipline. 
. . . Hal/ the battalion won through that morning. 
The others died or fell wouuded in the boats, in the water, 
on the beach, on the cliffs, or on the hijfh ground gained 
and held while reinforcements were landed to push the 

advantage won. Three days later, on April 28, when 
the brigade major of the 80th Brigade led the attack 
on the Krithia Wood, Bromley went forward with him. 
Another brigade had had to withdraw ; Bromley and 
the men who loved him went forwnrd and won. When 
the successful survivors reorganized under cover, Bromley 
went forward to reconnoitre with the brigade major 
and three other ranks up to the ground rising to the 
outskirts of Krithia itself, when he was wounded in the 
knee. He was got back by Sergeant Burtcholl, of the 
Lancashire Fusiliers, and his wound was dressed ; it 
was then discovered that he had also a bullet in his back 
which he had received three days before and never spoken 
of except to the man who had bandaged the wound. 
Before his wou,ids were healed Bromley was back, and 
found himself in command of the battalion, fresh from 
the fierce fighting of June 4. How he was welcomed ! 
. . . Then came June 28. The battalion was ordered to 
leave its trenches in daylight and attack across the open. 
Bromley led it. He was hit in the foot just over the 
parapet. Two stretcher-bearers bandsmen, only lately 
band boys jumped to him. He made them carry him 
on to direct the attack, and, when it failed, against all 
chances ho was carried baclc alive. Only ten of the 
original battalion- were left unwounded. The wound was 
eerious and Bromley was sent to Alexandria. When 
able to hobble he begged his way on board the Royal 
Edward to come back to the Peninsula. She was tor- 
pedoed, and it was like Bromley to stay on board and 
eo down with her while any nxen remained unplaced in 
the boats. Fine swimmer as he was he had once swum 
from Gozo to Malta he was drowned betore he could 
be picked up ; it is believed that he was struck by a 
-piece of wreckage. Thus he died ; to live now in the 
memory of England, placed among the great, men who 
have deserved, and won, the Cross of a soldier's self- 

So wrote of the fallen hero one who knew him 
well. It was a splendid tribute, and conveyed 
an understanding of the conquering spirit of 
the successors of the men who at Miiiden in 





Lancashire Fusiliers. 

Lancashire Fusiliers. 


Lancashire Fusiliers. 

1759 repulsed every charge of the enemy. 
That was the battle in which the regiment was 
posted near some gardens and took roses to 
decorate their hats ; and thus adorned, on 
August 1, they went on fighting and won the 
honour of " Minden " for their colours and the 
name of " The Minden Boys " for themselves. 
The tribute was one which applied not only to 
Bromley, but also to his brave companions ; 
it showed how right was the principle adopted 
of letting the battalion itself choose the re- 
cipients of the Cross yet when all were so 
distinguished it was hard to make a choice. 

" For most conspicuous bravery and self- 
sacrifice " the Cross was awarded to Second 
LieutenantGeorgeE.Cates.RifleBrigade. Cates's 
deed was remarkable because it was almost, 
precisely a repetition of one or two specially 

Rifle Brigade. 

cool, self-sacrificing acts for which th'- 
had been given. He was engaged \vith some 
other men in deepening a captured trench 
when, with his spade, he struck a buried bomb. 
The bomb immediately 'began to burn, where 
upon Gates, with the noble purpose of saving 
the lives of his comrades, unhesitatingly 
placed his foot on the bomb. There was an 
almost instant explosion, and Gates was killed ; 
but his swift decision and resolute courage 
saved the lives of others. 

What was spoken of at the time as a " mystery 
V.C." was awarded to Commander Gordon 
Campbell, D.S.O.. R.N. The first intimation 
that this officer had received the honour wns 
in the announcement, in the Court Circular on 
March 8, 1917, that the King conferred the 
Victoria Cross on Commander Gordon Camp- 
bell at Buckingham Palace on the previous 
day. It was not until April 21 that the Gazette 
announced that the Cross had been granted to 
the commander, "In recognition of his con- 
spicuous gallantry, consummate coolness, and 
skill in command of one of H.M. ships in 
action." That was the full story ; those were 
the only details that were made public, and 
this circumstance, in connexion with the fact 
that the officer received the Cross before it was 
actually gazetted, invested the case with an air 
of mystery to which public attention was 
drawn ; but any curiosity that was, naturally 
enough, aroused was not gratified. Com- 
mander Campbell had been appointed to the 
D.S.O. on March 31, 1916. 

" Wonderful work " was the official descrip- 
tion of an act for which an Overseas officer 
was awarded the Cross, the aunoimoeaieat 



being made on March 10, 1917. This recipient 
was Captain Henry William Murray, Australian 
Infantry,* whose conduct had already gained 
for him the D.S.O. Commanding the right 
flank company in an attack, his skill and 
courage resulted in the position being quickly 

Australian Infantry. 

captured. Very severe fighting followed, and 
three heavy counter-attacks were beaten off, 
" these successes being due to Captain Murray's 
wonderful work." The company throughout 
the night suffered heavy casualties through 
concentrated enemy shell fire, and onco the 
gallant band was forced to give ground for a 
short way ; but Murray rallied his command 
and saved the situation by "sheer valour." 
He encouraged his men, he headed bombing 
parties, he led bayonet charges and he carried 
wounded men to safe places ; he was from 
first to last a glorious example and a constant 
inspiration, and the case was one of the by no 
means small number afforded by the war of a 
British fighter performing a series of valorous 
acts for which the Cross was given. Gazetted 

* On June 2, 1917 , in Hyde Park, the King held his 
first public Investiture, when 351 war decorations were 
bestowed. These included eleven Victoria Crosses, as 
follows : The D.S.O. and bar and the V.C , Major 
Murray ; the V.C. and the M C., Captain Allen, R.A.M.C. ; 
the V.C. and the Military Medal, Sec. Lt. Palmer, Royal 
Fusiliers ; the V.C.. Lt.-Col. Bradford Durham Light 
Infantry ; Captain White, Yorkshire Regiment ; Private 
"Cunningham, East Yorkshire Regiment ; Private Hughes 
Connaught Rangers. Next-of-kin received the Crosses 
which had been awarded to Sec. Lt. Geo. Gates Rifle 
Brigade ; Sergeant Erskine, Scottish Rifles : Sergeant 
Mottershead, R F.C. and Pte. Fynn, South Wales Bor- 

also on March 10 was the award to Sergeant 
Edward John Mott, of the Border Regiment. 
His was another of those rousing instances of 
a man tenaciously enduring notwithstanding 
heavy wounds and utmost peril. During an 
attack the sergeant's company was held up at 
a strong point by machine-gun fire. Mott 
had been severely wounded in the eye, but 
.despite tin's heavy handicap he rushed at the 
gun. There was a fierce struggle between him 
and the gunner, but the unequal contest 
ended in the capture of both gun and gunner. 
This exploit was not all that went to the credit 
of the Border sergeant that day, for it was 
owing to his dash and enterprise that the left 
flank attack succeeded. 

f [Swaine. 

D.S.O.. R.N. 

In the earlier days of the war, before the 
mind of the public had become numbed by the 
vastness of the naval and military operations, 
and when comparatively small events aroused 
a thrill, there were doings on land and sea and 
in the air which roused the public to something 
like extravagance of enthusiasm. Such a 
display of feeling took place in connexion with 
the exploit of Michael O'Leary ; yet later, 
more than once, when acts as remarkable were 





gazetted as having been rewarded with the 
Cross, their heroic achievers remained un- 
known, even by name, to the vast majority of 
people. There had to be outstanding features 
in a case to impress it on the public mind, and 
two such instances arose in connexion with the 
battle of Jutland and the destruction of a 
German airship at Cuffley. These events 
added to the roll of fame the names of John 
Travers Cornwell and William Leefe Robinson. 
Cornwell's story rang throughout the Empire. 
He was only a boy, under sixteen and a half 
years of age ; yet no record of the Cross was 
more impressive than that of his behaviour in 
the Jutland battle : Mortally wounded early 
in the action, he remained standing alone at a 
most exposed post, quietly awaiting orders, 
until the end of the action, with the gun's 
crew dead and wounded all round him. Some 
time elapsed before the steadfast courage of 
the boy was made known. Meanwhile he had 
been brought ashore, he had died at Grimsby 
of his wounds, and through one of the stupid 
blunders which are inseparable from official- 
dom he had been buried in what was no better 
than a pauper's grave. No sooner was the 
truth known of the lad's last hours of life and 
the manner of his death than public opinion 
demanded a befitting reinterment. Accord- 
ingly the body was exhumed, and there was 
an impressive funeral in Manor Park Cemetery. 
A few months afterwards the boy's father, 
Eli Cornwell, who had joined the Army, was 
buried in the same grave. 

Jack Cornwell represented the great class 
which had done so well throughout the war ; 
he had not been long away from an elementary 
school, and, rightly enough, steps were promptly 
taken to ensure the driving home of the 
splendid lesson of duty and patriotism that he 
had taught. A committee was formed to 
organize a national memorial, and early in 
February, 1917, that body were able to report 
that up to date they had received remittances 
from 28,400 schools and 485 individual sub- 
scribers, amounting to 21,849 13s. lljd. A 
picture of the boy standing by his gun. with 
Admiral. Sir David Beatty's report of the 
incident, occupied a position of honour in 
more than 12,000 schools. At Buckingham 
Palace, on February 9, 1917, the Queen re- 
ceived the members <>f the Jack Cornwell 
Memorial Fund Committee, who presented to 
her the first instalment of the proceeds of the 
appeal. Admiral Lord Beresford presented an 

address explaining the objects of the fund and 
the means adopted to carry them out. One 
form of the memorial was a contribution of 
18,000 collected in the schools and by scholars 
of the United Kingdom to the " Star and 
Garter " Fund, and it was proposed as another 
part of the scheme to place a portrait of Corn- 
well in each of the contributing schools. In 
accepting a cheque for 18,000, the Queen 
said : " I am glad to know that in every school 
where the scholars have contributed to this 
mernor.'al a picture of Jack Cornwell will bo 
placed, which will serve to remind future 
generations of scholars in those schools of the 
lasting glory that attaches to the performance 
of duty." 

On March 23, 1917, alarge company witnessed 
at the Mansion House the presentation to the 
Board of Admiralty of Mr. Frank O. Salisbury's 
picture, "John Cornwell, V.C., on H.M.S. 
Chester." Sir Eiward Carson, the First Lord, 
received the picture on behalf of the Admiralty. 
The picture showed the lad standing by the 
side of a gun, which had just been fired. The 
inscription gave the official details of Cornwell's 
act. The artist unveiled the picture, and in 
formally presenting it to the Admiralty, said 
that the studies were taken on board the 
Chester. Cornwell's brother sat for the por- 
trait. The captain, on being asked for a title 
for the picture, replied that he knew of none 
which was more appropriate than this : 
" Thou hast set my feet in a large place.' 
In accepting the gift on behalf of the Admiralty, 
Sir Edward Carson paid a high tribute to tho 
dead lad's courage and example. " I a'sk 
people who grumble," ho said, " if they evei 
heard the story of John Travers Cornwell. . . . 
I feel that this boy, who died at the post of 
duty, sends this message through me as First 
Lord of the Admiralty for the moment to the 
people of the Empire : ' Obey 'your orders, 
cling to your post, don't grumble, stick it out.' ' 
Dr. Macnamara, the Parliamentary Secretary 
of the Board, intimated that the picture would 
first of all pass into t lie keeping of the Admiralty 
and in due course it would go to the Devcnport 
training establishment. The Mansion House 
ceremony was attended by the young hero's 

Never in the history of the Cross hud there 
been anything to compare with the act for 
which the honour was awarded to the young 
flying officer William Leefe- Robinson. Vast 
crowds of English people saw the terrible doom 


/'///; I'lMl'.s HISTORY OF THE \\ALi. 

of a raiding nil-ship at Cuflley, near Enfield, 
\.-ry early on the mornm'.' of Sunday, Septem- 
lii-i :!. I'.Uii. It was quickly known that the 
airship had IH-I-H attacked from an aeroplane 
by Lieut. William Lct-fc Robinson, Worcestcr- 
shirc Regiment and Royal Klying Corps, who, 
in spite of great difficulties and danger, " sent 
it crashing to the ground as a flaming wreck." 
Robinson had been in the air for more than 
two hours, and had previously attacked 
another airship during Us flight. Extraordi- 
nary interest was shown in the fact that a 
Victoria Cross had been won actually in 
England. Monetary and other rewards fell 
to the intrepid aiman's lot and he was given 
promotion. Deep interest in him was renewed 
in April, 1917, when it was officially reported 
that Flight-Commander Robinson, V.C., was 
" missing." On April 13, a week after he was 
reported missing, a Berlin official telegram 
announced that the flight-commander was shot 
down on April 6 by a German battle airman ; 
later it was reported that his assailant had been 
killed, and finally it became known that 
Robinson was a prisoner in the hands of the 

War's inexorable call required that men who 
had faced death against overwhelming odds 
and had survived to win great glory should 
return to zones of danger. They went, and 
in not a few cases lost their lives in battle. 
Few details were given as to the manner of 
their end. " News has been received that 
Private Henry Fynn, V.C., South Wales Bor- 
derers, of Bodmin, has died of wounds received 
in action." So ran the published reports 
on April 9, 1917, of a hero's end, and that 
brevity was representative. A few days later 
The Times, under the heading, " Two V.C.'s 
Killed," very briefly announced the death in 
action of Drum-Major Kenny, Gordon High- 
landers, and Sergeant John Krskine, Scottish 
Rifles. The very curtness and colourlessness 
of the intimations emphasized the vast ness of 
the war's operations. 

.lust as in the earlier history of the Cross 
there were famous episodes like those at 
Lucknow for which the honour WHS awarded, 
in later years such deeds as the defence of 
Koike's Drift and the saving of the guns at 
Maiwand, so in the Great War, with the 
immortal Regulars, there were the achieve- 
ments of Bradbury, of the horse gunners, and 
Michael O'Leary, of the Irish Guards, and 
with the New Army such acts as that of 

Trooper Potts, of the Yeomanry. But there 
stood out conspicuously the valour of the 
lonely airman who sent down a German airship 
and her crew in flames to English soil, of the 
dying commander who fought his shattered 
destroyer to the end, and, more than all, 
because he was so little more than a child, 
the steadfast courage and inflexible obedience 
to duty of John Travers Cornwcll, who, mor- 
tally wounded, stood in noble isolation till the 
battle ended. 

The following is a list of 'the Victoria Crosse* 
the award of which was made known betveen 
August, 1916, and March, 1917 : 
Addison, Rev. W. R. F., Temp. Chaplain to the 

Forces. 4th Class, Army Chaplains' Dept . 
Adlam, Temp. Sec. Lieut. T. E., Bedfordshire 


Allen, Capt. W. B. A., M.C., M.B., R.A.M.C. 
Hatten-Pooll, Lieut. A. H., Royal Minister 


Baxter, Sec. Lieut. E. F., Liverpool Regt. 
Bell, Temp. Sec. Lieut. D. S., Yorkshire Regt. 
Bell, Temp. Capt. E. N. F., Royal Inniskilling 

Bennett, Temp. Lieut. E. P., Worcestershire 


Bingham, Com. the Hon. E. B. S., R.X. 
Blackburn, Sec. Lieut. A. S., Australian In- 
Bloomfield, Capt. W. A., Scouts Corps, South 

African Mounted Brigade. 

Boulter, Sergt, W. E.. Northamptonshire Regt. 
Bradford, Lieut. (Temp. Lieut.-Col.) R. B., 

M.C., Durham Light Infantry. 
Bromley, Capt. (Temp. Major) C., Lancashire 

Buchanan, Lieut. (Temp. Capt) A. B., South 

Wales Borderers. 
Campbell, Com. G., D.S.O., R.N. 
Campbell, Major and Brevet Lieut.-Col. (Temp. 
Lieut.-Col.) J. V., D.S.O., Coldstream 
Carter, Co.-Sergt.-Major N. V., Royal Sussex 

Carton de Wiart, Capt. (Temp. Lieut.-Col.) A., 

D:S.O., Dragoon Guards. 
Castleton, Sergt. C. C., Australian Machine Gun 


fates, Sec. Lieut. G. E., Rifle Brigade. 
Gather, Temp. Lieut. G. St. G. S., Royal Irish 


Chafer, Pte. G. W., East Yorkshire Regt. 
Chavasse, Capt, N. G., M.C., M.B., R.A.M.C. 

Painted for the Admiralty by Frank O. Salisbury. 

[F:om ike print issued by the Fin; Arlr 
Pitllishin? Company on behalj of 
the John Cornu'eU Memorial FunJ. 



Clarke, Pte. (acting Corpl.) L., Canadian 

Congreve, Brevet Major \V. La T., D.S.O., 

M.C.. Rifle Brigade. 
Cooke. Pte. T., Australian Infantry. 
Cornwall. J. T., Boy, First Class. K.X. 
CiMiry. Sue. Lieut. G. G., South Lancashire 


Cowley, Lieut. -Com. C. H., R.N.V.R. 
Cunningham. Pte. J., East Yorkshire Regt. 
Davies. Corpl. J., R. Welsh Fusiliers. 
Downie, Sergt. R., Royal Dublin Fusiliers. 
Edwards, Pte. F. J., Middlesex Regt. 
Erskine, Acting Sergt. J., Scottish Rifles. 


Faulds, Pte. W. F., South African Infantry. 
Firman, Lieut. H. O. B., R.N. 
Freyberg, Capt, (Temp. Lieut. -Col.) B. C., 

D.S.O., Royal West Surrey Regt. and 

Royal Naval Division. 
Fynn, Pt. J. H., South Wales Borderers. 
Gill, Sergt. A., King's Royal Rifle Corps. 
Green, Capt. J. L., R.A.M.C. 
Grimshaw, Corpl. (now Sergt.), J., Lancashire 


Hackett, Sapper W., Royal Engineers. 
Harvey, Major F. J. W., R.M.L.I. 
Hill, Pte. A., Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 
Holland, Lieut. J. V., Leinster Regt. 
Hughes, Pte. T., Connaught Rangers. 
Hutchinson, Pte. J., Lancashire Fusiliers. 
Jackson, Pte. W., Australian Infantry. 
Jones, Sergt. D., Liverpool Regt. 
Jones, Com. Loftus W., R.N. 
Jones, Lieut. R. B. B., Loyal North Lancashire 

Jones, Pte. T. A., Cheshire Regt. 

Kelly, Temp. Sec. Lieut. H., West Riding Regt. 
Korr, Pte. J. C., Canadian Infantry. 
Khan, Xaik Shahamad, Punjabis. 
Lauder, Pte. D. 'R., Royal Scots Fusiliers. 
Leak, Pte. J., Australian Infantry. 
Lewis, Pte. H. W.. Welsh Regt. 
Loudoun-Shand, Temp. Major S. W., Yorkshire 


McFadzean, Pte. W. F., Royal Irish Rifles. 
McNess, Lee. -Sergt. F., Scots Guards. 
Miller, Pte. J., Royal Lancaster Regt. 
Mott, Sergt. E. J., Border Regt. 
Mottershead, Sergt, T., R.F.C. 
Murray, ('apt. H. W., D.S.O., Australian 


Myles, Sec. Lieut. E. K., Welsh Regt. 
O'Meara, Pte. M., Australian Infantry. 
Palmer, Sec. Lieut. F. W., Royal Fusiliers. 
Proctor, Pte. A. H., Liverpool Regt., T.F 
Quigg, Pte. R., Royal Irish Rifles. 
Rees, Capt. (Temp. Major) L. W. B., Royal 

Artillery and R.F.C. 

Ritchie, Drummer W T ., Seaforth Highlanders. 
Robinson, Lieut. W. L., Worcestershire Regt 

and R.F.C. 

Ryder, Pte. R., Middlesex Regt, 
Sanders, Corpl. G., West Yorkshire Regt. 
Short, Pte. W., Yorkshire Regt. 
Stringer, Pte. G., Manchester Regt. 
Stubbs, Sergt. F. E., Lancashire Fusiliers. 
Turnbull, Sergt. J. Y., Highland Light Infantry. 
Turrall, Pte. T. G., Worcestershire Regt. 
Veale, Pte. T. W. H., Devonshire Regt. 
Ware, Corpl. S. W., Seaforth Highlanders. 
White, Temp. Capt. A. C. T., Yorkshire Regt. 
Wilkinson, Temp. Lt. T. O. L., North Lancashire 





IN the present chapter, it is proposed to 
give an account of the engineering 
factors which made the ships of the 
British Navy, regarded as moving units, 
not as fighting machines, what they were at 
the opening of the Great War. Among these 
factors three were of outstanding importance 
on the material side, at least in the progress 
of the preceding 25 or 30 years : the adoption 
of water-tube boilers, the introduction of the 
steam turbine, and the use of oil fuel, whether 
for raising steam in boilers or for the direct 
production of power in internal combustion 
engines. But, important as they were, they 
must be looked upon as merely the later stages 
of the constant and never-ending struggle for 
more power with less weight of machinery and 
fuel which had been going on ever since 
mechanical propulsion was brought into the 
Navy, anil the changes that preceded them, 
though perhaps dwarfed by the distance from 
which they must be viewed, were not less 
momentous in their own day. 

It is interesting to note that the three 
great changes referred to above must all be 
associated with the name of Lord Fisher, for 
he was at the Admiralty, with the exception of 
an interval of a few years, throughout the period 
Vol. XII. Part 149. 

in which they were brought about. They 
were also all initiated during the term of 
office as Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet of 
Engineer Vice-Admiral Sir A. J. Durston, who 
was appointed in 1889. Duraton's principal 
assistant for many years before his retirement 
in 1907 was Engineer Vice-Admiral Sir Henry 
J. Oram, who had a large share in the work, 
and actively extended and developed it, after 
succeeding him as head of the engineering 
department of the Navy, especially by the 
adoption of mechanical gearing in conjunction 
with the turbine. Indeed, it has been said 
that during the ten years Sir Henry Oram 
held office he retired in June, 1917, a few 
months after the death of his predecessor 
greater progress had been made in naval 
machinery than in the preceding 50 years. 
He was succeeded by Engineer Vice-Admiral 
G. G. Goodwin, who a.s Deputy Engineer-in- 
Chief had been associated with him throughout 
his term of office. 

In 1914 the Navy's experience of steam was 
U'ss than a century old. It was in 1820, 
eight years after Henry Bell's Comet, which 
began to ply on the Clyde in 1812, had demon- 
strated tho commercial possibilities of the 
steamboat, that the Admiralty had built for 




H.M.S, "DEVASTATION," 1873. 
The first British Battleship without Sails. 

thorn at Rotherhithe the Monkey, of 210 tons 
displacement, with Boulton & Watt engines 
of 80 nominal horse power. In succeeding 
years she was followed by sundry vessels more 
or less similar, but they were not, strictly 
speaking, warships, being used for towing and 
general purposes. The paddle wheels by which 
they were propelled were, indeed, not well 
suited to naval purposes. The wheels them- 
selves were exposed to damage by the enem\ 'a 
fire, it was impossible to protect the shafting 
and other machinery by which they won- 
driven by placing it .all below the water line, 
and the paddle-wheel boxes offered difficulties 
in connexion with the working of the guns. 
Nor did the paddle wheel lend itself to the 
application of high powers, though this 
objection was of little weight in the early days 
when the pressure of steam used was only 
4 Ib. per square inch and high powers were not 
available. Paddle-wheel warships of con- 
siderable size were, indeed, ultimately built 
in the middle of the century >the Terrible, a 
paddle-wheel' steam frigate (cruiser), had a 
displacement of about 3,000 tons with engines 
that developed nearly 2,000 indicated horse 
power but steam did not come .into its own 
in the Navy until the merits of the screw 
propeller were recognized. Even then it was 
a good many years before sail was completely 
ousted. Tlie ill-fated Captain, which was 
launched in 1869 and enpsi/.ed in the Bay of 
Biscay in the following year, was fully rigged, 
wit li tripod masts and a largo spread of sail, and 

the first sea-going battleship in the British 
Xavy to depend wholly on steam for propul- 
sion was the Devastation, of 9,060 tons, the 
building of which was begun in 1869 

The screw propeller reached the stage of 
practical test in the thirties, in the hands of 
F. P. Smith and Captain John Ericsson. Jn 
1840 the Admiralty carried out trials with the 


Engineer-in-Ghief of the Fleet, 1889-1907. 




Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet, 1907-1917. 

Archimedes, which had been built in 1838 by 
private enterprise, to demonstrate the advan- 
tages of the system ; but although the results 
were sufficiently favourable to induce Brunei, 
after further experiments of his own, to modify 
the design of his Great Britain and employ e 
screw propeller instead of paddle wheels, as he 
originally intended, they did not move the 
authorities to action. The force of public 
opinion, however, caused the question to be 
reopened a few years later, and in 1845 the 
Admiralty pitted the Rattler, of 880 tons and 
200 horse power, fitted with a screw, against the 
Alecto, of the same size and power, but fitted 
with paddle wheels. At sea the Rattler proved 
the faster, but perhaps the most convincing 
test was when the two vessels, fastened stern 
to stern, both steamed ahead at full power, 
and the AJecto was hauled backwards at the 
rate of 2J knots. More experiments were made 
bstween the screw steamer Niger and the 
paddle-wheel steamer Basilisk in 1849. In the 
result the superiority of the screw was so 
thoroughly vindicated that the paddle wheel 
waj discarded, and by the time of the Crimean 


A favourite type from 1820 to 1860. 





War the British Fleet contained screw vessels 
of all classes. 

The screw as compared with the paddle 
wheel has the advantage of being protected 
from shot and shell by the water in which it is 
immersed, while the machinery by which it is 
driven is placed low down in the ship, the 
upper decks being thus left clear for the guns, 
uiv I if it is not entirely below the water line 
it can be readily protected by armour. More- 
over it permits the employment of large 
|, IU.TS, which concurrently with its adoption 
were becoming available through improvements 
u.ii'tly in tlic boilers and partly in the engines. 

In the early boilers the heat w^s transferred 
t i tli- water from the furnace gises during 
th"tr pi,s.i_:e throuuh a single flue, but in 
is Id ,%o tubular boilers came into use in which 
th' viiilc due u'.is as it were split up into a 
number of smmler tubes, thus increasing the 
extent of tin: heating surface. This con- 
st ruction \\.is more compact and weighed less. 
and it euible.l the steam pressure to be raise. I 
t i 14 or 15 II). per square inch above atmo- 
sph'-re. In the next two decades the steam 
pressure was brought up to 30 or 35 Ib. per 
s piare inch, and this increase was accompanied 
by, and its extension rendered possible on 
account of, au important change in the method 


of condensing the exhaust steam after it had 
done its work in the cylinder. In the old 
engines this steam was cooled and condensed 
by being brought into contact with jets of sea 
water. The condensate thus formed was 
nearly as salt as sea water, and while it could 
be used as feed water to the boilers when 
the steam pressures and therefore the tem- 
perature of the water in the boilers were 
fairly low", the case was different at pressures 
above. 35 Ib. per square inch, because at 
temperatures corresponding to such pressures 
the salts in sea water begin to be deposited and 
form an injurious scale in the interior of the 
boilers. An expedient which had been sug- 
gested in the 'thirties was therefore adopted, 
and the coolin<_r water was kept separate from 
the exhaust steam. For this purpose either 
the steam was passed through a series of 
tubes round the outside of which cold sea 
\\ater.\vus circulated, or the water wa< passed 
through the tubes and the steam circulated 
out-ide them. The result of this method of 
"surface condensation" was that the con- 
densed steam was kept free from contamination 
by sea water, and could safely be returned to 
the boilers. 

The obstacle which jet -condensation pre- 
to the use of higher pressures being 



thus removed, stronger forms of boiler were 
devised to enable them to be realized in 
practice, and rectangular or box boilers, not 
being strong enough for pressures exceeding 
about 40 Ib. per square inch, gave way to 
various forms of cylindrical boiler, the pressures 
in which were carried up to 180 Ib. per square 
inch. This brings the development of boiler 
pressure down to about the year 1889, which 
forms a convenient stopping point, since it not 
only stands on the verge of a new era in steam 

generation for the British Navy, marked by 
the adoption of water-tube boilers, but also 
saw the passing of the Naval Defence Act, 
which effected an enormous increase in the 
strength of the British Fleet 

To return to the development of the engines, 
those first used with the screw propeller were 
of the same type as had latterly been employed 
with the paddle wheel. The earliest paddle- 
wheel engines were of the side-lever or beam 
type, but they gave place to direct-acting 


This was a wooden paddle frigate with engines of the twin-cylinder type arranged in pairs and 

working on two cranks at right angles. 



designs, such as Penn's " oscillating " engine, 
and the Maudslay "double cylinder" type. 
In the former the cylinder swung on hollow 
trunnions, through which the steam passed. 
In the latter there were two cylinders placed 
vertically side by side on the floor of the .ship 
and working a single crosshead, an extension 
of which passed down between the two cylinders. 
The connecting rod was attached to the bottom 
of this extension, the object of the arrangement 
being to give it sufficient length. 

fauce/on ipe . 

Piston Cylinder 


The screw needed a faster rate of rotation 
than the paddle wheel, and to enable the slow- 
running paddle-wheel engines to meet this 
condition the engineers of the day preferred 
to have recourse to mechanical gearing rather 
than to risk experiments with engines having 
a higher speed of revolution. A large toothed 
wheel was therefore mounted on the engine 
shaft arid arranged to work into a smaller 
toothed wheel or pinion carried on the screw 
shaft. The teeth were in several rows and 
staggered, those of the large wheel being made 
of some tough wood inserted in the periphery, 
while those of the pinion, which were cast, were 
of iron. 

This arrangement, which forms an interesting 
anticipation of that adopted later with the 
tin-bine, though in that case the purpose was to 
reduce the rate of revolution of the propeller 
shaft, not to increase it, was continued until 
about 1860, when with the aid of the higher 
boiler pressures which had then become avail- 
able engines were constructed to run at 
sufficiently high speeds to enable them to 
drive the screw shaft directly. Differing from 
the paddle-wheel engines, the cylinders of 
which were placed either vertically on the 
bottom of the ship or in an inclined diagonal 
position, tl !<>< were arranged horizontally. 
Space being limited transversely across the 
beam of the ship, various devices were adopted 
in order to get a sufficient length of connecting 
rod. Thus the Maudslay " return connecting 
rod " engine had double piston rods, one 

above and the other below the crank shaft, 
communicating with crossheads and guides 
fitted on the opposite side of the crank to that 
of the cylinder. In the Penn " trunk " engine 
the piston had attached to it a hollow trunk 
working through a steam-tight stuffing box in 
the end of the cylinder and the connecting rod 
was attached to a gudgeon pin in its centre, 
the arrangement being in fact similar to that 
followed subsequently in the motor-car engine. 
Later, when twin-screws came into vogue, the 
Humphreys direct-acting horizontal type, with 
the connecting rod between the cylinder and the 
crank, became the standard type. 

The next great change in the arrangement 
of the engines was the introduction of the 
inverted vertical type, with the cylinders placed 
above the shaft. This type, which eventually 
became universal in all screw steamers not 
driven by turbines, was adopted for large naval 
ships in 1885, though the horizontal engine was 
retained in sloops and gun boats for a few years 
longer. Its advantages had long commended 
it to the mercantile marine, but the naval 
engineer hesitated in adopting it because it 
could not, as could the horizontal type, be 
placed entirely below the water line. However, 
this difficulty of protection was got over by the 
aid of armour and by carrying the coal bunkers 
round the engine room, so that a projectile 
would have to pass through a mass of coal 

These engines had return connecting rods, the 
(wo piston rods of each cylinder being placed one 

above and the other below the crank axle. 

before it could reach any portion of.the engine, 
that projected above the water line. 

Meantime, again as a result of the higher 
steam pressures obtained through the adoption 
of the surface condenser and improvements in 
boiler construction, another great innovation 
was introduced in the shape of compound or 
double expansion engines. These were gene- 
rally adopted in naval vessels, between 1870 
and 1885, but again it cannot be said that the 
Admiralty showed unseemly haste in taking 



advantage of the innovation, for it had been 
successfully applied to marine purposes by John 
Elder in 1854. The steam pressure at first 
used with it in the Navy was 60 Ib. per square 
inch, but gradually rose to 90 Ib. about 1880 
and finally to 120 Ib. The principle consisted 
in dividing the expansion of the steam, and 
therefore the work it did. between two cylinders, 
instead of completing it in one. Sometimes 
the smaller or high pressure cylinder in which 
the first portion of the expansion took place 
was arranged in tandem with the larger or 

to triple expansion, in which the expansion of 
the steam was effected in three stages, and even 
to quadruple expansion, with four stages, 
though the latter was not employed to any 
extent in the Navy. Triple expansion, was tried 
in 1874 by Dr. A. C. Kirk in the Propontis, but 
the experiment was marred by the unsatisfac- 
tory behaviour of the boilers. Kirk was more 
successful in a second attempt in 1881 with the 
Aberdeen, employing a pressure of 125 Ib., and 
in 1885 triple expansion engines began to bo 
fitted in new ships for the Navy. The steam 


These were the first direct-acting screw engines fitted in the British Navy. The illustration is an end 

view, showing the two cranks at right angles. 

low pressure cylinder in which the expansion 
was completed, the two pistons being carried 
on one rod ; but more generally the two 
C3'linders were placed side by side. There 
were then two piston rods acting on cranks 
set at right angles to each other. In the case 
of large engines the second expansion was 
sometimes divided between two cylinders, 
because the size of a single cylinder would 
have become inconveniently great ; in that 
case there were three pistons, with three 
cranks generally set at equal angles to each 

With increasing steam pressures it wa.s found 
advisable to extend the compounding principle 

pressure wap at first 130 Ib.. but was soon 
increased to 155 Ib., which remained general 
until 1895. But in the cruisers Powerful and 
Terrible, which were launched in that year ami 
ran their trials in 189697. there was a jump to 
210 Ib. at the engines, reduced from 250 Ib. in 
the boilers, and in subsequent ships the pres- 
sures were raised to 250 Ib. at the engines 
(300 Ib. in the boilers). In thos" cruiser?, which 
were of 25,000 horse power, divided 'between 
two screws, the last stage of the expansion wns 
carried out in two equal low-pressure cylinders, 
so that there were four cranks With this 
arrangement, which became standard for 
battleships and cruisers of over 10,000 h.p., 



not only could the low-pressure cylinders be 
kept of reasonable size, but reduction of vibra- 
tion was facilitated, by placing the cylinders in 
such order and setting the cranks at such 
angles as to balance the engines as perfectly 
as possible. 

The advantages of the compound as com- 
p ired with tin 1 single-stage expansion eiiijii.e 
were summarized by Sir Henry Oram ('/'/" 
Mm hie Steam Engine, by Sennett & Oram) <>s 
being (1) reduction of the maximum stresses 
on the framing, and consequent reduction of 
weight and cost ; (2) increased regularity of 
turning moment and consequent increased 

efficiency of the propeller in the water ; and (3) 
more economical use of the steam in the 
cylinders and consequent increase of power 
from a given expenditure of heat. He stated 
that the gain in economy of fuel with even the 
00 Ib. compound engines over ordinary surface- 
condensing engines with steam at 30 Ib. pressure 
might be taken as at least 30 per cent., and that 
of triple expansion engines \\ ith steam at 130 Ib. 
to 150 Ib. over compound engines with steam 
at itO to 100 Ib. as 15 to 20 per cent. 

The following figures, taken from the same 
book, will give an idea of the extent to which 
the weight of the machinery in relation to the 

The high-pressure cylinders (on top) were arranged in tandem with the low-pressure ones (below). 




power developed was reduced by the improve- 
ments described so far : 




Character of Machinery 

Flue boiler, 4 Ib. pressure. 

side-lever engine driving 

paddle wheel 
Tubular boiler, 14 Ib. pros-un-. 

oscillating engine and pad- 
dle-wheel ... 
Box boiler, 20-25 Ib. pressiuv. 

horizontal single expansion 

engine, jet condenser and 

screw propeller 
Box boiler. 30-35 Ib. pressmv 

horizontal single expaiiMn;! 

engine, surface condenser. 

screw propeller 
Cylindrical boiler, 155 Ib. 

pressure, triple expansion 

inverted vertical engines, 

screw propeller 

Weight per 






In a previous paragraph reference was made 
to the jump in steam pressure seen in the 
cruisers Powerful and Terrible in 1895. This 
jump was due to the adoption of water-tube 
boilers, which have already been mentioned as 
being one of the three great factors in the 
progress of naval engineering in the quarter of 
a century preceding the outbreak of the war. 
Innumerable forms of water-tube boilers were 
constructed, but the cardinal feature in all of 
them was the same that the water is con- 
tained in the tubes round which the heated 
furnace gases play, in contradistinction to the 
old tank or fire-tube type in which the gases 
on their way to the funnel pass through the 

tubes, on the outside of which is the water 
that is to be heated 

The water-tube boiler w n s not new in idea, and 
dates back at least to the beginning of the 
nineteenth century ; but in spite of the efforts 
of numerous inventors and constructors they 
retained disadvantages which were held to 
render them unsuitable for use in the Navy. 
Perhaps, indeed, too much was made of those 
disadvantages, because tank boilers appeared 
to satisfy the demands of the engine designer, 
and there was a natural reluctance to make 
drastic changes in practice until they became 
inevitable.' By the 'nineties, however, it had 
become evident that the tank boiler had about 
reached the end of its tether, ar.d could not 
well be made in large sizes to meet the require- 
ments of the high-steeCm pressures needed to 
enable full advantage to be taken of the 
multiple expansion principle. The Admiralty 
were therefore practically forced to make tin- 
change, though their engineering p-dvisrrs 
would have been spared much criticism and 
tribulation of mind had they been content, as it 
must be confessed they had been in the casre 
of some other developments, to allow the mer- 
cantile marine to make the initial experinn 
and overcome the difficulties that are inseparc- 
ble from any radical innovation. But if they 
had elected to tread this primrose path of 
least resistance the ships of the British 1' le< t 
would have had to wait long for water-tube 
boilers, since at the time of the Great \Ynr 



they had found but little favour in British 
merchant vessels. 

The Admiralty began tentatively by fitting 
water-tube boilers in some of the smaller 
vessels, but their first large experiment was 
made in the Powerful and Terrible. For these 
cruisers they sett led on the Belleville type, which 
had been used witli satisfactory results in the 
French Navy for more than ten years, and 
they had the justification for their choice that 
this was the only large tube type of water-tube 
boiler which had been tried at sea tinder 
ordinary working conditions on a considerable 
scale. That some defects and difficulties 


should be found in working a new device with 
which the boiler-room staffs were not familiar 
was not surprising and the influence of the 
personal factor is shown by the fact that there 
were instances of these boilers proving a success 
in one ship, while a precisely similar instal- 
lation of them in another precisely similar ship 
was set down a failure. The troubles which 
occurred were, however, seized xipon by the 
adherents of the tank boiler, and such an 
outcry was raised against the Belleville in 
particular and the water-tube type in general 
that in 1900 the Admiralty appointed a com- 
mittee to investigate the matter. An interim 
report issued in 1901 was in general unfavour- 
able to the Belleville, which it advised should 
not be fitted in future new ships, but the 
opinion was expressed that the advantages of 
water-tube boilers for naval purposes were so 

great, mainly from the military point of view, 
that, provided a satisfactory type was adopted, 
they would be more suitable for use in the 
Navy than the cylindrical type. In the next 
two or three years the Committee carried out 
a number of special comparative trials with 
different types of boiler, and when in 1904 they 
issued their final report the last of ten they 
expressed themselves as satisfied that the 
Babcock & Wilcox type (as used in the Hermes) 
and the Yarrow large tube type were satis- 
factory and suitable for use in battleships and 
cruisers. For small cruisers they thought it 
probable that a boiler such as the Yarrow 
large tube type would give better results than 
the " express " small tube type previously fitted, 
while for torpedo-boat destroyers they regarded 
some form of boiler with small tubes closely 
packed as absolutely necessary to obtain the 
required ratio of output to weight of boiler. 

In consequence of this report the Babcock 
& Wilcox and the Yarrow types were fitted in 
about equal numbers in large warships ; and 
in 1909 Sir Henry Oram was able to declare that, 
although . boilers had been until quite recently 
a constant source of anxiety to the Admiralty, 
serious troubles were then seldom met with. 
In the Babcock & Wilcox type the tubes are 
slightly inclined to the horizontal, and at each 
end are connected with sinuous headers from 
which pipes lead to a receiver above the tubes. 
Heated by the furnace below, the water rises 
up the inclined tubes to the upcast headers, 
whence it passes through the pipes to the 
receiver, to return down the downcast headers to 
the other and lower ends of the tubes. The 
steam is led off to the engines from the upper 
part of the receiver, which is kept about half 
full of water. In the Yarrow there is a steam 
receiver in the centre above and two water 
chambers at the sides below, the three being 
disposed triangularly, and the heating surface 
is formed by two groups of straight tubes, 
1J inches 'in diameter, joining the receiver 
with each of the two water chambers. The 
Yarrow "express" type is of similar con- 
struction, except that the size of the tubes is 

The three military requirements on which the 
Water 'Tube Boiler Committee laid stress as 
being necessary in naval boilers were (1) 
rapidity of raising steam and of increasing the 
number of boilers at work ; (2) reduction to the 
minimum of danger to the ship through damage 
to the boilers by shot and shell ; and (3) the 



Control Dampe 



possibility of removing damaged boilers in a 
very short time and without opening up the 
decks or removing the fixtures of the hull. They 
declared that these requirements are met by the 
water-tube boiler to a greater degree than by 
the cylindrical, and they regarded them as being 
of such importance as to outweigh the advan- 
tages of the latter type in economy of fuel and 
cost of upkeep. The rapidity with which steam 
can be raised in some forms it can be done 
within half an hour of lighting the fires is a 
consequence of the small quantity of water in 
the tubes, and this in turn is partly responsible 
for the smaller weight of the water-tube as 
compared with the tank type of equal power, 
the lightness of the component elements in 
relation to their strength being another contri- 
buting factor. In the course of their trials the 
Committee got a maximum output of 200,000 Ib. 
of steam an hour from the Babcock and Wilcox 
boilers of the Hermes, or 410 Ib. of steam per ton 
of boiler. With the Yarrow boilers in the Medea, 
weighing 330 tons, the output of steam was 
157,000 Ib. an hour, or 478 Ib. per ton of boiler. 
But in the Minerva the tank boilers weighed 
567 tons for an output of 167,100 Ib. of steam 
under forced draught, or 295 Ib. per ton, while 
in the Cunarder Saxonia the cylindrical boilers 
weighed 1,000 tons, but the output of steam was 
only 132,600 Ib. an hour, or 132'fi Ib. per ton. 

Those present at the Diamond Jubilee Naval 
Review held at Spithead in 1897 were greatly 
interested in a small vessel of the torpedo-boat 

class which darted at enormous speed along the 
lines of warships after the Royal procession had 
passed. The patrol-boats whose duty it was 
to keep the lines clear were hopelessly outclassed 
in point of speed, and the only way in which they 
could check the intruder's lawless proceedings 
was to place themselves athwart her course and 
thus drive her out of the lines. This vessel was 
the Turbinia, built'by the Hon. C. A., after- 
wards Sir Charles, Parsons, and embodying an 
invention which in a few years was destined to 
revolutionize the propelling machinery of the 
British and other navies. 

Sir Charles Parsons, the youngest son of the 
third Earl of Rosse, of telescope fame, a few 
years after graduating at Cambridge as eleventh 
wrangler in 1877, devoted himself to the 
development of the rotary steam engine. The 
oldest form of steam engine known, the aeoli- 
pile of Hero of Alexandria (about 130 B.C.) was 
of this type, consisting of a hollow pivoted 
globe supplied with steam the reaction of which 
as it issued from nozzles caused the whole 
apparatus to rotate in the opposite direction to 
that of the steam outflow ; but the efforts of 
various inventors had failed to utilize the 
principle in a practical way until success 
was reached by Sir Charles Parsons. It 
was in 1884-85 that as a result of many ex- 
periments he produced a rotary engine or 
turbine of about 10 horse-power which was 
successfully used for driving an electrical 
generator, and in the following five years 
some 300 of these machines were made 





ranging up to a power of 75 kilowatts. So far 
us the engine or Miotor part was concerned, the 
M--I machine consisted of two groups of 15 sue. 
eessive turbine wheels or rows of lihules on one 
(Iruin or shaft within a concentric ease. The 
moviiiL' ro\\s or rings of lil.-eles or vanes were 
attivcheil to the shaft, projecting outwardly 
from it. and nearly touching the ease, while 
lietween tliein wore rows or rings of fixed or 
guide blades projecting inwardly from the case 
and nearly touching the shaft. Thus a series of 
turbine elements or wheels was constituted, 
each complete in itself and each comprising one 
row of fixed blades and one row of moving 
blades. The steam, after doing its work on one 
wheel or element, passed on to the next, pre- 
serving its longitudinal velocity without shock, 
and gradually falling in pressure and expanding 
as it passed through the different rows of blades. 
Each successive row of blades was made rather 
larger than the one before in order to accom- 
modate the increasing bulk of the expanding 

In Sir Charles Parsons' own words the steam 
in a turbine passes through a forest of fixed 
and moving blades, just as water flows from a 
lake of higher level (the boiler) through a series 
of rapids and intervening pools to a lake of 


m ^ <-t 




The arrows show the course of the steim. 

lower level ''.he condenser). Tn its flow it 
repeatedly gather.-' n little velocity from the 
small falls of pressure, which is as soon cheeked 
and its "nergy transferred to the blade-., over 
and over again. 50 to 100 times or still oftener. 
The result of splitting up the fall in pressure of 
the steam into small fractional expansions 
over a large number of turbine elements in 

series is that the velocity of the steam is 
nowhere great, and thus a relatively moderate 
speed of rotation of the turbine suffices for the 
highest economy. In considering how the 
power is developed it must be remembered 

Fixed Cylinder 


















































- ' 



that the steam flows through the turbine with 
a force ten times that of the strongest hurricane, 
and although the force acting on each blade is 
small, perhaps only a few ounces or in the 
largest blades a few pounds, the summation 
of these little forces mounts up to an aggregate 
of many thousands of horse-power in largo 
machines. In the engines of the Mauretania 
and Lusitania, of nearly 80,000 horse-power, 
there were some 880,000 blades, varying in 
length from 2} to 22 inches, and large as 
these installations were they were merely 
the pre-runners of others of still greater 

The Parsons turbine, like the primitive 
machine of Hero, was of the reaction type, 
as opposed to the impulse type. The latter 
type in its most elementary form may be 
regarded as a wheel provided with vanes which 
are blown round by the steam impinging upon 
them. Tn reaction turbines the steam, leaving 
a row of fixed blades at a high velocity, is 
guided so as to strike the adjoining row of 
moving blades in a series of jets, causing them 
to rotate. Then traversing their curved inner 
surfaces it leaves them as it were with n kick, 
which further assists in their rotation, and 
strike.- i he next row of fixed blades, from which 
it is again thrown off upon the succeeding 
row of moving blades. This process is con- 
tinued- through many stages of fixed and 
moving blades until the energy of the steam 
is exhausted: indeed, one of the great merits 
of the turbine is that it is able to utilize the 
energy of the steam when expanded to the 
very attenuated vapour densities produced by 
the best condensers. The reciprocating engine 




can take advantage of only about two -thin Is 
of the whole range of expansion and cannot deal 
with very low densities of steam, one reason 
being, among others, that the low-pressure 
cylinders would have to be of such enormous 
size as to be impracticable. Hence in it use 

cannot be made of steam expanded to a 
pressure of less than 7 Ib. absolute (about half 
an atmosphere). The turbine, on the other 
hand, can use steam at a pressure of only i or 
| Ib. absolute, equivalent to a vacuum of 281 or 
29 inches in the condenser. With turbine 



inaohihery, therefore, good condensing arrange- 
ments become imperative, for the sake of 
economy in steam consumption. Sir Charles 
I "arsons recognized this fact from the first, nnd 
his jet vacuum augmenter was an important 
contribution' to the practical solution of the 

and moving discs, and SO on through the whole 

series to the exhaust, the action being the 
same as in the parallel flow type. 

Tl e question of the application of the turbine 
to marine propulsion was taken up in 1894, 
when a small company, the Marine Steam 
Turbine Company, of which Sir Charles IV.rsons 



For the first five years after the manufacture 
of Parsons turbines was begun they were all 
constructed on the parallel flow principle, 
which from the first he had considered the 
most suitable for his purpose and on which he 
therefore concentrated his attention. But in 
consequence of a partnership dispute he lost 
his rights over the patents that covered it 
and was debarred from continuing to work on 
it. In these circumstances he reluctantly 
turned his attention to another type of turbine, 
that with radial flow. In this there were a 
series of fixed discs, with interlocking flanges 
at the periphery, forming when placed together 
co-axially a cylindrical case with inwardly 
projecting annular discs. On the shaft were 
Jceyed a similar series of discs, the faces of the 
fixed and moving discs lying a short distance 
apart. From the faces of the fixed discs 
projected rows of guide blades which nearly 
touched the moving discs, and in the same 
way from the moving discs projected rows 
of blades which nearly touched the fixed 
discs When steam was admitted to the 
casing, it passed outwards through the rows of 
fixed and moving blades between the first 
fixed and moving discs, then inwards towards 
the shaft at the back of the first moving disc 
and outwards again be'tw.-cn the second fixed 

was managing director, was formed with the 
object of carrying out exhaustive tests. The 
prospectus summarized the advantages to be 
obtained from the new system in connexion 
with the propulsion of ships .as being increased 
speed, increased carrying .power of vessel, 
increased economy in steam consumption, 
reduced initial cost, reduced size and weight 
of machinery, reduced cost of attendance on 
machinery, diminished cost of upkeep of 
machinery, and largely reduced vibration. 
The construction of successful land turbines 
had involved much more than what may be 
called the steam part of the problem. For 
example, special bearings had to be designed 
to suit the high speeds of rotation (the first 
small Parsons turbine made 18,000 revolutions 
a minute), the mode of lubrication had to be 
considered, methods of the fixing the blades 
in position had to be worked out, and attention 
given to governing and numerous mechanical 
details. ' But when it came to marine pro- 
pulsion it was recognized that other funda- 
mental problems were involved, the most 
important being the adaptation of the screw 
propeller to the high speed'at which the turbine 
had to revolve if it was to work with reasonable 
efficiency and economy 

Various model experiments with propellers 



had already been made by Sir Charles Parsons 
when, in 1894, the Marine Steam Turbine 
Company erected works at Wallsend-on-Tyne 
and began to construct the Turb'nia. The 
vessel was 100 ft. long and 9 ft. in beam, and 
at a draught of 3 ft. she had a displacement of 
about 44 tons. The boiler fitted was of the 
water-tube type, with straight tubes J-in. in 
internal diameter, and the heating surface was 
1,100 square feet, with 42 square feet of grate 
area. The turbine drove a single shaft, and 
had to be of the radial flow type, as when it 
was designed Sir Charles Parsons had not 
recovered his patent rights over the parallel 
flow principle. The preliminary trial of the 
vessel was run on November 14, 1894, but in 
spite of numerous variations in the propellers 
first with a sing4e screw, and later with multiple 
screws the results were disappointing, because 
the speed obtained, 19J knots, was not nearly 
so great as it should have been considering the 
horse power developed by the engine, which 
was ascertained to be 960 at 2,400 revolutions. 
It may be mentioned that to make this measure- 
ment special apparatus had to be devised. In 
a reciprocating engine the power can be cal- 
culated from the diagram drawn by an instru- 
ment known as an indicator, which shows the 
pressure within the cylinder at all points of the 
stroke of the piston ; but this arrangement is 
not applicable in the case of the turbine. Sir 
Charles Parsons therefore inserted a spring 
coupling between the turbine and the propeller 
shaft, and from the compression of the springs, 
or the extent to which the engine shaft was 
twisted in relation to the propeller shaft, cal- 
culated the power that was developed. Sub- 
sequently various torsion meters, embodying 
much the same principle, were devised. When 
a shaft is rotated it is twisted to an extent 
that depends on the quality of the steel and 
the load that it carries. Therefore if the 
amount of twisting that is caused by a certain 
load on a given shi'.Vt is known, and the extent 
to which the shaft is actually twisted when in 
use is measured, as it can be by a torsion meter, 
the power that the engine must be developing 
to produce that twist can be calculated. The 
result is usually expressed in the case of tur- 
bines as shaft horse-power. 

The trouble with the Turbinia in her first 
form was traced to a phenomenon known as 
eavitation, which had been noticed in 1893 by 
Sir John Thornycroft and Mr. Sydney Bai iiaby 
during the trials of the Daring, a 27-knot 

torpedo destroyer. It is caused by too much 
work being asked of the screw ; the blades 
tear through the water, producing cavities 
which contain no air but only vapour of water, 
and into which the water cannot flow quickly 
enough to fill them up, the result being that 
the power of the engine is wasted in forming 
and maintaining these cavities, instead of use- 
fully employed in driving the ship forward. 
It was therefore resolved to divide the power 
in the Turbinia between three shafts instead 
of concentrating it on one, and to build new 
turbines, this time on the parallel flow prin- 
ciple, the rights over which had been recovered. 
Three separate turbines were provided, each 
driving its own propeller shaft, and were con- 
nected in series, so that the expansion of the 
steam was divided between the three instead 
of being completed in one. The first portion 
of the expansion was effected in the high- 
pressure turbine placed on the starboard side, 
the second portion in the intermediate turbine 
on the port side, and the final portion in the 
low-pressure turbine in the centre. As tur- 
bines can run in only one direction, and cannot 
be reversed like reoiprocating engines, another 


turbine for going ast ern was placed forward 
of the low-pressure turbine on the central pro- 
|ieller shaft. Kadi shaft carried three screw.- 
of improved design. 

The result of these changes was that the 
vessel attained a speed of 32J knots on the 
measured mile, and from, tests made by Sir 
J. A. Ewing in 1896 it appeared that the 
maximum speed was obtained when the outer 
or wing propeller shafts were running at 2,230 


























revolutions a minute, and the middle shaft at 
2,000. At the Naval Review she was pressed 
i" stem n 34 J knots, representing about 2 300 
Inn-si' ]id\\cr. She thus developed 100 hoi's 1 - 
power for every ton of her machinery, which, 
including turbines, boilers, shafting, etc., 
weighed 22 tons, the turbines alone weighing 
only 3 tons 13 cwt. At 31 knots she consumed 
14J 11). of steam per horse-power, equivalent 
with a good marine boiler to less than 2 Ib. of 
coal per horse-power a result better than was 

obtained in a torpedo-boat or torpedo-boat 
destroyer with ordinary triple expansion 
engines. Her reversing turbine gave her a 
speed astern of Gi knots, and she could be 
brought to rest from 30 knots in 36 seconds, 
and from rest up to 30 knots in 40 seconds. 

After the sueeessof the Turbinia the Parsons 
Marine Steam Turbine Company, an enlarge- 
ment of the syndicate which had built that ship, 
received an order from the Admiralty for a 
turbine-driven torpedo-boat destroyer, the 



Viper, of the same dimensions (210 ft. long,. 
21 ft. beam) as the us-unl 30-knot vessels of that 
class. She had four shafts, each with two 
screws.* Each of the outer shafts had one high- 
pressure turbine, the steam from which was 
taken to two low-pressure turbines, one on each 
of the inner shafts, the four turbines being of 
about equal power. On each of the two inner 
shafts there was also an astern turbine in a 
separate casing forward of the low-pressure 
turbines ; these astern turbines ran in a vacuum 
when not in use. With her full trial weights on 
board, when her displacement was 370 tons, 
the Viper showed a mean speed of 36'58 knots 
on an hour's full power trial, her fastest run on 
the measured mile being 37'113 knots, nearly 
43 miles an hour. This latter speed meant a 
horse-power of about 12,300, or about double 
that obtained from triple expansion recipro- 
cating engines in 30-knot destroyers of similar 
dimensions but only 310 tons displacement. 
The Viper ran ashore and was wrecked near the 
Channel Islands in August 1901, and six weeks 
later the Cobra, another somewhat larger tor- 
pedo-boat destroyer, which had been fitted with 
turbine engines . was lost in a storm in the North 

Another destroyer, the Velox, launched in the 
following year, was of the same dimensions as 
the Viper and was fitted with the same arrange- 
ment of turbines. In addition, however, she 
was provided with two triple expansion reci- 
procating engines of 150 horse-power each, 
which could be coupled to her two inner shafts. 
The intention in fitting these was to increase 
economy at low cruising speeds, when the 
efficiency of the turbines fell off, and they were 
used at speeds up to 12 or 13 knots, the steam 
from them being passed into the main turbines. 
At higher speeds they were disconnected. In 
the destroyer Eden, launched in 1903. two 
cruising turbines, one high-pressure and the 
other low-pressure, were fitted in place of such 
engines, with the same object. 

An extension of the use of turbines to larger 
ships was made in 1902, when it was decided to 
fit them in the Amethyst, one of four 3,000-ton 
cruisers then building. Here there were only 
three screw shafts. The central one was driven 
by a high-pressure, turbine, and each of the 
side ones carried a cruising turbine forward and 
a low-pressure one aft, one of the cruising tur- 

* The practic" of fitti iy more than one screw on each 
propeller shaft was afterwards abandoned. 

bines being high-pressure and the other low- 
pressure. Comparison between the perform- 
ance of the Amethyst and her three sister boats 
having triple expansion reciprocating engines 
was very definitely in favour of the turbine 
machinery. While the limit of the other ships, 
with the same boiler power, was about 22 3 
knots, the Amethyst easily steamed at 23 - 6 
knots, and that with a coal consumption about 
10 per cent, less At low speeds ; of about 10 
knots, she was ; however, less economical, but 
at about 14 knots she came to an equality with 
the other vessels. The actual weight of the 
machinery was the same in all of them to within 
a few tons, but the turbines of the Amethyst 


were substantially lighter in relation to their 
power, for at the speed of 23'6 knots it was 
calculated they gave 26 horse-power per ton, 
whereas the reciprocating engines of the 
Topaze, one of tne sister ships, gave only 18'3 
horse -power per ton. 

The final triumph of the turbine came when 
the committee appointed by the Admiralty in 
1905 recommended its adoption in the Dread- 
nought, and thenceforward it became the stan- 
dard method of propulsion for the steam vessels 
of the TSritish Navy. The reasons officially 
assigned for this decision were saving in weight, 
and reduction in number of working parts ; 
reduced liability to breakdown; smoothness of 
working ; ease of maniwilatien ; saving in coal 
consumption at high power, and therefore in 
boiler-room space ; saving in engine-room com- 
pleiiu'nt : and increased protect 1011 from damage 



by sliot and shell owing to tlu> engines being 
lower in the ship. That the turbine system wivs 
not without disadvantages was reeogni/.ed. hut 
it was felt that the advantages much more than 
counterbalanced them. From the point of view 
of sea-going speed there was no difficulty in 
deciding in its favour, and the chief question 
about which doubt arose was in connexion with 
the provision of sufficient stopping and turning 
power for purposes of quick and easy manoeuv- 
ring. It was considered, however, that all the 
requirements promised to be fully met by the 
adoption of suitable machinery. 

For the large ships the four-shaft arrangement 
was adopted, the outer or wing shafts being 
driven by high-pressure turbines and the inner 
ones by low-pressure turbines. For the sake of 
manoeuvring power astern turbines were pro- 
vided on all four shafts. As Sir Henry Oram 
recorded, previous experience indicated that 
turbines would yield the same power as recipro- 
cating engines with the use of 15 per cent, less 
steam, and accordingly in the Dreadnought a 
reduction of about 15 ner cent, was made in the 
usual boiler proportions. This action was 
justified by the trial results, for whereas in 

reciprocating engines 10 Ib. per indicated horse- 
power would be a fair average, her steam con- 
sumption for turbinos only at full speed was 
found to be 13'48 Ib. per shaft horse-power, the 
initial steam pressure at the turbines being 
1(54 Ib. per square inch by gauge. In three sub- 
sequent ships, according to Sir Henry Drain, 
the figure was reduced to just over 13 Ib. per 
shaft horse-power, the steam pressure being 
147 Ib. per square inch. In the bat tie -cruisers 
of the Indomitable class, in which the turbines 
of 41,000 shaft horse-power were much greater 
in size and revolved more slowly than those of 
the Dreadnought, the boilers were made about 
4 per cent, smaller proportionately than in the 
latter ship. The economy, however, surpassed 
anticipations, the steam consumption of the 
turbines at. full power being -only 12'03 Ib. per 
shaft horse-power, with an average steam 
pressure of 123 Ib. by gauge:at the high-pres- 
sure steam turbine ; and without going into 
further details it may be said that still better 
results were obtained later. It will be noticed 
how the adoption of the turbine brought with it 
the advantage of permitting the boiler pressures 
to be greatly reduced from those of 250 or 




300 Ib. per square inch which had been reached 
in 1895 in the effort to make the most of the 
triple expansion reciprocating engine. 

The economy in steam consumption, which 
was assisted by the " closed exhaust " system 
whereby the energy remaining in the exhaust 
steam from various auxiliary engines of the 
single-cylinder type was turned to useful 
account in the main turbines, was naturally 
accompanied by a decrease in coal consumption, 
which in the three Indomitable cruisers was 
reduced at full power to an average of just 
under 1J Ib. per shaft horse-power per hour. 
This meant an increase in the radius of action 
for a given quantity of fuel, or alternatively a 
reduction in the quantity that had to be carried 
for a given radius of action. There was also a 
decrease in the weight of the propelling 
machinery in relation to power, and as time 
went on it was reduced, including all necessary 
auxiliaries, from about 140 Ib. to about 100 Ib. 
per shaft horse-power in battleships. In small 
fast ships like torpedo-boat destroyers, in which 
the machinery is of lighter construction than in 
large ships, striking reductions in weight were 
also achieved. In a destroyer with triple 
expansion reciprocating engines the weight of 
the machinery, including the water in the 
boilers and spare gear, was 58 Ib. to 62 Ib. per 
horse-power. The substitution of turbine 
engines, still with coal-fired boilers, knocked off 
8 or 10 Ib., but with oil-fired boilers it came 
down to 33 Ib., and the use of steam with a 
moderate degree of superheat reduced it to 
30 Ib. A comparison of these results with the 
weight of 1,540 Ib., which, as already recorded, 
was required for the development of one horse- 
power in a naval ship of 1832, shows the 
enormous improvements that were realized by 
the: engineering branch of the Navy in th 
course of about 80 years. 

In order to promote the economy of steam 
and fuel at lower speeds an important matter 
seeing that warships spend much of their time 
in cruising at speeds which do not require the 
use of the full power of their engines a cruising 
turbine was fitted on each of the inner shafts 
of the Dreadnought, but subsequently this 
arrangement fell into disfavour, the view 
adopted being that the increased economy 
secured by the cruising turbines was not worth 
the extra complication, cost and liability to 
injury entailed by their use. The alternative 
measures that fvere adopted for the purpose, 
such as the addition of a cruising element in the 

shape of an extra stage of shorter blades at the 
initial end of the main high pressure turbines, 
with by-passing arrangements, or the fitting of 
a velocity compounded impulse turbine wheel 
for the initial stages, cannot be dealt with here, 

[Elliott & Fry. 

Inventor of the Parsons Turbine. 

and for information about them, so far as it 
can be published, reference may be made to Mr. 
Alexander Richardson's book on the Evolution 
of the Parsons Steam Turbine and to the 
chapters on marine engineering contributed 
year by year to the Naval Annual by the same 
writer. Something, however, may be said 
about what Sir Charles Parsons once called the 
" inherent and permanent idiosyncracies " of 
the steam turbine and the screw propeller, 
since the subject leads up to the question of 
different forms of gearing in connexion with 

In general terms it may be said that the screw 
propeller is essentially a slow-speed device. The 
steam turbine, on the contrary, is essentially a 
high-speed one. High-pressure, steam expand- 
ing into a vacuum moves at an enormous 
velocity, and it is shown by theory, and con- 
firmed by experience, that in the turbine, in 
order to obtain as much power as possible from 
a given amount of steam, the velocity of the 
moving blades relatively to the fixed or guide 
blades should be about half the velocity of tho 



steam. In <i turbine of large diameter and 
large power the fulfilment of this condition is 
compatible with a reasonably low speed of 
revolution, because the peripheral velocity of 
the moving blades is high owing to their radial 
length from the shaft ; but with small machines 
of small diameter the required blade velocity 
can be got only by increasing the rate of revolu- 
tion of the shaft, and if the shaft is coupled 




direct to the propeller, in the usual way, the 
propeller revolves at excessive speed for effi- 
ciency. This was the difficulty found in the 
application of the turbine to vessels requiring 
speeds not exceeding 16 or 17 knots, but 
evidently it would be solved if the speed of the 
propeller could be reduced in relation to that 
of the turbine, so that both could be designed 
to run at speeds that would ensure good per- 
formance for both. This can be effected by 
gearing, of which three types ure possible 
mechanical, hydraulic and electrical. 

.Mechanical gearing, it will be remembered, 
was introduced in the early days of the screw 
propeller in order to get a faster rate of revolu- 
tion than was attainable with the existing slow- 
miming engines intended for paddle wheel*. 
When Sir William White- was Chief Constructor, 
he considered the possibility of applying it for 

the opposite purpose, of reducing the revolutions 
of the screws in connexion with high-speed 
reciprocating engines, and at his suggestion 
I i. A. C. Kirk worked out a design for use in a 
cruiser, though it was not put into practice on 
account of the detects of gearing as then made. 
In the light of subsequent improvements Sir 
Charles Parsons, however, made MMIIC experi- 
ments about 1896, and in the following year a 
22 ft. launch, fitted with a Kl-horse-power 
turbine running at 20,000 revolutions a minute, 
was built by the Parsons Company, and pro- 
vided with helical spur gearing, by which the 
two screw shafts were driven at 1,400 revolu- 
tions, a reduction of about 14 to 1. The spe< d 
was about 9 miles an hour. Dr. de Laval hod 
also introduced helical gearing for reducing the 
very high speeds attained by his impulse 
t urbine. 

Some twelve years later Sir Charles Parsons 
renewed his experiments with helical gearing 
on a much larger scale. A cargo steamer, 
the Vespasian, of 4,350 tons displacement, was 
purchased, and after she had been thoroughly 
overhauled, her existing machinery, a set of 
triple expansion engines of about 900 horse- 
power; was tested for coal and water consump- 
tion in order to obtain data for comparison. 
They were then taken out and replaced by 
geared turbines, the original propeller, shafting, 
and boilers being retained. There was a high- 
pressure turbine on the starboard side, and a 
low-pressure one on the port side, their shafts 
each carrying pinions which geared into a 
wheel mounted on the propeller shaft. The 
revolutions of the turbines, 1,400 a minute, 
were thus reduced to 70 in the propeller shaft. 
At this rate of revolution, which represented 
the full power of the ship with the old recipro- 
cating engines, it was found that the turbines 
gave an economy of 15 per cent,, increased by 
subsequent minor alterations to 22 per cent. 
After the vessel had been employed for about 
a year in carrying coal from the Tyne to 
Rotterdam, and had travelled about 20,000 
miles, the gear, which was entirely enclosed in 
>< casing and continually sprayed with oil by a 
pump, was removed for examination, and t'he 
wear on the teeth of the pinion, which was of 
nickel steel, was ascertained to be less than 
two -thousandths of an inch. The loss in 
transmission through the gear was not actually 
measured, but on the basis of previous tests 
with experimental gears it was believed to be 
not more than li per cent. 



After this successful demonstration, 
mechanical gearing was applied to two cross- 
channel turbine ships belonging to the London 
and South-Western Railway, the Nonnannia 
and Hantonia, which were put into service in 
1912. They were twin-screw vessels, and the 
power for each screw was derived from one 
high-pressure and one low-pressure turbine. 
The screws were designed to give a speed of 
19 knots at 315 revolutions a minute, and the 
reduction gearing was so calculated that at this 

stated that 15 vessels, including ocean-going 
passenger steamships, cargo vessels, and de- 
stroyers, had been, or were being built, with 
geared turbines on the Parsons system and an 
aggregate exceeding 100,000 horse-power. He 
also pointed out that everyone familiar with 
warship design must realize the exceptional 
importance necessarily attaching to economies of 
weight, space, and consumption of steam and 
fuel made possible by the use of smaller quick- 
running turbines of high efficiency which trans- 


rate of revolution of the screw shafts the high- 
pressure turbines made 2.014 revolutions a 
minute and the low pressure ones 1,392. On 
the six hours full speed triaUboth ships slightly 
exceeded the designed speed with the turbines 
developing about 5,000 shaft horse-power. 
The coal -consumption was about 1'34 Ib. per 
shaft horse-power per hour, and on six months' 
service at a speed of 18 knots they consumed 
nearly 43 tons a double trip, whereas another 
slightly larger vessel with direct coupled 
turbines, running on the same service at the 
same speed, used 72 tons per double trip. 

In the same year as that in which these 
vessels were put into service, Sir William White 

unit their power through reducing gear to the 
screws. This observation was confirmed by 
the statement made in the Naval Annual for 
1914 that by gearing the weight of the turbines 
was being reduced to an amount which more 
than counterbalanced the weight of the gearing, 
and that there was a saving of space in the 
arrangement of the machinery. It was also 
mentioned in the Animal that geared turbines 
were working with a consumption of about 
1 1 Ib. of saturated steam per shaft horse-power 
per hour, that mechanical gearing was then 
fitted for the transmission of 15,000 shaft 
horse-power on one shaft, and that ratios of 
reduction as high as 26'2 of the turbine shaft 



to 1 of the propeller shaft were being used, 
ratios of 4 or ti to 1 being employed in high- 
speed torpedo boat destroyers and light 
armoured cruisers. 

As an example of a possible method of 
applying and working glaring in a law ship, 
reference may be made to a design proposed 
before the Institution of Naval Architect.- 
by Sir diaries Parsons in 1913 for a four- 
screw battleship of about 00,000 shaft horse- 
power. Each screw was to be driven by 
a separate and independent set of turbine:-. 
To take the outer or wing shafts first, there 
was to be on each one high-pressure and one 
intermediate-pressure turbine forward of the 
gearing, and aft of it two low-pressure turbiues > 
each incorporating an astern turbine in the 
same casing. Each of the ahead turbines was 
to drive a separate pinion, the four pinions of 
each set engaging with one wheel mounted on 
the screw shaft. A clutch was provided in the 
design, enabling the engines to be disconnected 
from the screw shafts when desired. On the 
two inner screw shafts there were similar 
installations of turbines, but with two additions. 
The first of these consisted of two high-pressure 
cruising turbines placed .bet ween the main high- 
pressure and intermediate turbines _and driving 
direct on the screw shafts, from which they 
could be detached by a clutch. The second 
addition was two complete sets of cruising 
turbines (each comprising a high -pressure and 

a low-pressure cruising turbine, the latter 
combined with an astern turbine) placed aft 
of the main eimines ami driving the two inner 
screw shafts through gearing. A clutch enabled 
these cruising installations also to be diseon 
nected at will. The object of these arrange 
meiits was to secure practically the same con- 
sumption of steam per shaft horse-power 
throughout the whole range of speed. At low 
-pceds the two forward cruising turbines would 
be \tsed. and at intermediate speeds the aft. 
cruising installations, the main engines being 
cut out by means of the clutches. The con- 
sumption of oil fuel at full power was expected 
to be about 0'7 Ib. per shaft horse-power per 

In the Unite;! States a considerable amount 
of attention was given to mechanical gearing 
for marine and other purposes by Admiral 
G. W. Melville and Mr. ,T. H. Macalpine. The 
distinctive feature of their system, with which 
Mr. George Westinghouse was also associated, 
lay in mounting the pinion in a floating frame. 
Their argument was that however perfectly the 
teeth might be cut, the slightest error of align- 
ment of the pinion, which is long in proportion 
to its diameter, would produce great inequality 
of distribution of pressure along the teeth. 
The method they adopted for freeins the design 
from this delicacy of alignment was to mount 
the pinion bearings in a very stiff frame, 
supported near the middle of its length by the 


The hrst electrically propelled ship of he American Navy. 




bedplate but (where the teeth were not in mesh ) 
free to move about an axis transverse to the 
axes of the gear and the pinion. Thus the 
position of the pinion axis at any moment was 
partly determined by the interaction of the 
teeth, the result being great equality of distri- 
bution of tooth pressure. It was claimed 
therefore that such a floating frame gear would 
work satisfactorily with the pinion sensibly 
out of line, thus overcoming the difficulty of 
bad distribution of tooth pressure caused by 
minute errors of alignment, and that a higher 
average tooth pressure could be employed than 
with a rigid gear, reducing the weight of the 
apparatus in relation to the power transmitted. 
It may be mentioned, however, that no need 
for any such arrangement was found with the 
Parsons double helical gear, provided the teeth 
were cut with absolute accuracy, to ensure 
which special machinery was devised. 

The floating frame system, which was adopted 
in a good many merchant ships, was fitted 
experimentally by the United States naval 
authorities in a naval collier, the Neptune, of 
20,000 tons displacement, in order that com- 
parative tests might be carried out between her 
and a sister ship the Cyclops, propelled by 
ordinary triple expansion reciprocating engines, 
and another sister ship, the Jupiter, having 
turbines and electrical transmission gear. 

An example of hydraulic gearing applied to 
marine propulsion is afforded by a German 
invention, the Fottinger transformer. Here 
the steam turbine is coupled directly to a water 
turbine or pump, the hydraulic pressure 
developed by which in turn drives a second 
water turbine or motor mounted on the pro- 
peller shaft. Separate water circuits are pro- 
vided for eoins ahead and troine astern, that 

for the latter purpose being arranged in such 
a way that the direction of the water is reversed 
so as to drive the propeller shaft in the opposite 
direction. It follows that in whichever way 
the screws are being turned the steam turbine 
always rotates in the same direction and no 
astern turbine is required. The system, with 
which it was said an efficiency of 90 per cent, 
could be guaranteed in large installations, was 
fitted in the Koningen Luise, a pleasure steamer 
belonging to the Hamburg Amerika Line. 
This vessel came to England in May 1914, and 
ran a series of demonstration trials in the Solent 
for the information of Admiralty and other 
engineers. Less than three months later she 
took her place in the German Navy as a mine 
layer, and the sinking of hor on August 5 by 
the Amphion and the Third Destroyer Flotilla 
was the first blood of the war and the first 
success in it of the British Navy. 

As has just been recorded, electrical gearing 
or transmission was tried experimentally by 
the United States Navy Department in a 
collier in which electrical energy generated by 
a turbine-driven dynamo was used to drive 
electric motors on the propeller shafts. Two 
years' experience with this vessel led to the 
decision to adopt electrical gearing in the 
New Mexico, first called the California, a 
battleship with an estimated displacement of 
32,000 tons, which was laid down in 1915. Here 
two turbines, of 37,000 shaft horse power, were 
to drive four propellers at 175 revolutions a 
minute, giving a speed of 22 knots. Each tur- 
bine was to be coupled to a bi-polai alternator, 
the current from which was to be taken to four 
electric motors, one on each shaft. These 
motors were to be connected for either 24 or 
36 ooles. At moderate speeds the plan was to 



use only one of the generators, and under this 
condition a speed of 15 knots \va> expected 
with the .'ill pole connexion and 18J knots with 
the L't pole. With either connexion changes of 
speed wen 1 to lie effected by eluinges in the 
turbine speed. The weight of the propelling 
machinery, apart from boilers and condensing 
auxiliaries, \\<vs estimated at 530 tons, and the 
( Jeneral Klectric Company, who were respon- 
sible for it, guaranteed that the steam con- 
sumption per shaft horse power should not 
exceed 1T9 Ib. at full speed and power, in Ib. 
at 19 knots, 11 '4 Ib. at 15 knots, and 14 '6 Ib. 
at 10 knots. 

But a still bolder step was taken when it was 
decided to adopt electric drive on the same 
principle for the new American cruisers of the 
1916 programme, with a length over all of 
874 ft., a beam of 91 ft., a draught of over 
30 ft., and a displacement of 34,800 tons. 
Turbines of 180,000-200,000 shaft horse-power 
were to drive four screw shafts through electric 
motors, and the speed expected was variously 
stated at from 32 to 35 knots. Apparently 
space could not be found on the engine deck 
for the huge range of boilers required to supply 
steam for machinery of such enormous power, 
and it was accordingly arranged to place a 
number of them on a higher deck. 

Before leaving the subject of electrical gear- 
ing, mention may be made of an interesting 
Swedish system, the Lj angstrom, which, accord- 
ing to the Annual Report of Lloyd's Register 
for 1915-Ki. was being applied in two mercantile 
vessels under construction in Creat Britain, one 
of 1,500 shaft horse power with a single screw, 
and the other of 5,400 horse-power with two 
sen ws. In this turbine there were no stationary 
blades, but the steam passed across two sets of 
blades which revolved at equal speed in opposit , 
directions, the effect therefore being the same 
as if one set of blades were stationary while the 
other revolved at double their velocity. Each 
half of the turbine was directly coupled t o its own 
alternator, producing three-phase current of a 
frequency of about 50 a second at a voltage of 
about 800. The alternators of each set were 
electrically locked, ensuring exactly equal 
speed, and consequently equal power, on each 
rotating half of the turbine. Two sets of turbo- 
alternators were provided in each vessel, and the 
two alternators of each set worked in parallel. 
They had each only one pair of poles, but the 
two motors to which they supplied current had 
each five pairs of poles and therefore rotated 
at one-fifth of their speed. These motors were 
connected to pinions with helical teeth which 
geared in the ordinary way into a large gear wheel 

Upper casing removed, exposing the turbine and steam chests and the ends of the rotors. 



f* * 


secured to the screw shaft, and the combination 
of electrical and mechanical gear enabled the 
turbine running at 3,600 revolutions a minute to 
turn the screw at 76 revolutions. The turbines 
always ran in the same direction, reversal of the 
screw being effected electrically by the motors. 
Variations of speed down to about 80 per cent, 
of the maximum were obtained by altering the 
supply of steam to the turbine, and for lower 
speeds the regulation was effected by interposing 
resistances in the circuit. 

Britain possesses enormous reserves of coal 

of qualities suitable for naval purposes, and the 
Admiralty steam coals produced in the Bhondda 
Valley of South Wales are famous all over the 
world. Coal accordingly remained the staple 
fuel of the British Navy for many years, and it 
was not until the opening of the twentieth cen- 
tury that, scf far as naval ships were concerned, 
liquid fuel in the shape of mineral oil began to 
enter into serious competition with the solid 

During the coal period, owing to the con- 
stant increase in the size and power of the 
engines and consequently in their demands for 



strum, measures had to bo taken to increase 
the amount of coal that could be burnt in a 
given time in a furiiave of given size, so that the 
additional heat released might generate more 
st. -am without undue increase in the boiler 
installations. The demand for a larger supply 
of steam could, of course, have been satisfied, 
without interfering with the furnace arrange- 
ments, by providing more boilers, but this 
course was impracticable in warships because 
it would have required more space than could be 
spared for the purpose. It therefore became 
necessary to intensify the combustion by ceasing 
to rely simply on the natural draught produced 
by the funnel and supplementing it by devices 
that caused the fire to burn more fiercely. 

An early device of this kind consisted of a 
steam jet placed at the bottom of the funnel, 
but though effective enough it wasted too 
much fresh water, which is a precious com- 
modity in a ship, Jets of compressed air, 
instead of steam, were also used in the same 
way, but were not found advantageous. 
Another plan which was adopted in some of 
the ships of the Navy was to put exhaust fans 
in the funnel to svick away the products of 
combustion, and still another was to blow air 
into the ashpits, which had to be closed for 
the purpose. In 1882 the closed stokehold 
system of forced draught was adopted in the 
Conqueror, and subsequently came into exten- 
tive use in the Navy. With this the boiler 
rooms were made air-tight, and a pressure of 
air was maintained in them by means of fans, 
air-locks being provided to enable men to 
enter or leave them without releasing the 
pressure. In the Conqueror this arrangement 
increased the power of the boilers by 68 per 
cent, over that obtained with natural draught, 
with a mean air pressure of 1} inches, and in 
the Sanspareil six years later the boilers were 
made to develop 20 indicated horse-power for 
each square foot of grate area with two inches 
pressure of air. But it was found that forcing 
the boilers too much in this way gave rise to 
troubles such as leaky tubes, and betore the 
tank type had been abandoned for the water 
tube type it was considered advisable to limit 
the forced draught to a figure corresponding 
to about 12 indicated horse-power per square 
foot of grate, and to increase the heating 
surface per indicated horse-power, which hail 
been reduced so low a* 1'7 square foot, to not 
less than -\ square feet. 

According to one authority the weight of 

coal that can be burnt p>r square foot of grate 
area per hour is approximately 16 to 20 Ib. 
with natural draught; 25 to 28 Ib. under 
forced draught \\ith J inch air pressure; 
33 to 36 Ib. with 1 inch air pressure ; -10 to 
ir> II). with -2 inches : ~>r> to (H) Ib. with 3 inches, 
and 70 to SO Ib. with 4 inches. High air 
pressures, however, are not economical, for 
though the amount of steam generated is 
increased, it is not increased proportionally 
to the amount of coal burnt. For example, in 
a- trial with a Babcock and \\ ileox marine 
(water-tube) boiler, nearly 25 Ib. of coal were 
burned per square foot of crate area per hour 
under natural draught a.nd nearly 11 Ib. of 
water were evaporated per Ib. of coal per 
hour ; .but under 3 inches forced draught, 
while the weight of coal consumed per square, 
foot of grate area per hour increased to over 
70 Ib., the weight of water evaporated per Ib. 
of coal fell to 8J Ib. 

The first attempt to use oil for raising 
steam in a warship was made in America by 
Colonel Foote in 1863. Inside the furnace of a 
gunboat he fitted a retort in which the oil 
was gasified with the aid of steam, the gas 
produced being burnt in the furnace. The 
trial trip was successful enough, but in practice 
the arrangement was a failure because it soon 
became choked with carbon. Subsequent 
experiments with vaporization systems were 
equally unsuccessful, but they were probably 
responsible for Admirals Fishburn and Selwyn 
drawing the attention of the British Admiralty 
to oil fuel in the 'seventies. The time, however, 
was not ripe for the innovation, find no measure 
of success was obtained until the plan of burning 
the oil in an atomized, or finely broken up 
condition, was introduced. 

In 1900, when progress in this direction had 
been made, the Admiralty began experiments, 
and the memorandum of the First Lord for 
1901-2 stated that a method of assisting the 
combustion of coal by oil fuel was being tested 
in the destroyer Surly. While the experiments 
were being carried out that vessel was a 
standing joke at Portsmouth on account of the 
dense smoke poured out from her funnels. 

This fact illustrates one of the difficulties 
that were encountered in utilizing oil fuel in 
the Navy, for no commander wishes to make 
himself conspicuous to an enemy by a trail of 
smoke behind his ships, and the fact that 
Welsh steam coal with careful stoking can be 
burnt with little or no smoke is one of its 



beauties from the naval point of view. On on occasion, as the Germans found in sundry 
the other hand, the readiness with which oil instances in the war, when they disguised their 
can be made to yield smoke has its advantages precise position from pursuing British ships by 




i-iix eloping themselves in a thick veil of 

Perseverance, however, brought success. 
and put <!reat Britain, as regards the use of 
oil in tin 1 furnaces of warships, several year- 
ahead of any other Power ; in fact, almost 
exactly at the time that the problem of 
smokeless combustion was solved in t his 
country, a Board of Naval Engineers on 
Liquid Fuel in America had to confess that 
they were not within sight of reaching tin 
desired end. In the course of the next few 

\.'Ts many completed ships and others that 
were building were adapted for burning oil 
in combination with coal. The naval 
manoeuvres of liMili afforded a .striking instance 
of the usefulness of this course, for when tin- 
King Edward class of battleships, under Vie < - 
Admiral Sir William May, were chased by ;v 
superior force of older vessels, tinder Admiial 
Sir Arthur Wilson, they were able to race away 
from their pursuers merely by turning on their oil 
sprays. After that time most ships in the Xavy 
wen- fit tod with appliances for burning oil, coal, 







however, being retained as the main fuel except 
in the case of torpedo craft. The first flotilla 
of ocean-going destroyers wholly dependent 
on oil was created in 1909, .and with the Queen 
Elizabeth and her sister ships of the 1912-13 
programme came the " all-oil " battleship. 
Very many devices have been invented for 
atomizing the oil, and reducing it'-to-the con- 
dition of a fine spray or mist, the minute 
particles of which come into contact with 
abundance of air, and so are thoroughly con- 
sumed without the production of smoke. 
Three agents are used steam, compressed air, 
and mechanical pressure. Many burners of the 
steam type produce a long narrow cone of 
flame which gives successful results in cases 
where there is plenty of combustion space 
available, but is not so suitable with the wide 
but comparatively short combustion spaces 
found with the water-tube boilers employed 
in naval ships. Moreover, a not inconsiderable 
amount of steam must be used, about 4 or 5 
per cent, of the total generated, and this 
means a loss of fresh water which cannot be 
disregarded. Compressed air has : theoretical ly 
the advantage that much of the air needed for 
combustion is supplied with the atomized oil, 
and the flame is shortened ; but, on the other 
hand, the necessary air-compressors take up 
space which cannot always be conveniently 
found on a ship. The third method, in which 

the oil is forced out under high pressure, 
pulverizing itself in its escape, has found most 
favour for naval purposes. The oil pumping 
plant required is compact, and the steam used 
for driving it can be recovered. 

Some pressure burners impart a swirling or 
rotary motion to the injected jet of oil . mist, 
which materially contributes to proper com- 
bustion. If a jet of oil mist is driven into the 
furnace unmixed with air, it can burn only from 
the exterior, no air being able to enter the 
flame ; and as the length of the flame is 
governed by the distance it must travel in 
order to obtain sufficient oxygen from the au- 
to be completely burnt, the flare of oil mist 
becomes so elongated that there is not suf- 
ficient room in the combustion space for all its 
carbon to be oxidized and smoke results. But 
if instead of the oil mist and air bring allowed 
to flow forward as more 'or less independent 
streams, they are forced to mix by giving both 
of them a swirling motion, or if the air is 
forced by other means into the oil-mist, then 
the length of flame is reduced and smokeless 
combustion is assured within the limits of the 
available space. Either forced or induced 
draught is usually adopted to provide the 
furnace with a suflicimt supply of air. With 
pressure burners the oil must be preheated in 
cnler to reduce its viscosity and make it flow 
more freely. This can be done conveniently by 




passing it through a nest of tubes which are 
heated externally by steam. Measures must 
also be taken to ensure that the oil is free from 
water, even a small bubble of which may inter- 
rupt the flow in the burner. 

When oil is used as an auxiliary to coal the 
fire bars are left in place, but the furnace fronts 
are provided with oil burners and independent 
air supply valves, which are shut off when 
coal only is being used. When oil is to be 
burnt the fires are levelled, the air supply 
below the bars cut off, and the oil burners with 
air supply above the fuel bed brought into 

The primary attraction of oil for use in 
raising steam in warships is that it is a more 
concentrated fuel than coal. Different oils 
and coals both vary in calorific power, but 
roughly it may be said that the number of 
British thermal units in a pound of good coal 
is 14,000, and in a pound of oil 20,000. On 
this showing 70 tons of oil are equivalent to 
KM) tons of con!, supposing that in practice the 
heat Ciin be to the water of the 
boiler equally elYrrtively, and in this respect 
oil is held to have the advantage. For ii given 
weight of fuel, therefore, the radius of action of 
a ship is proportionately increased Mr. 
Winston Churchill, in his statement to Par- 
liament on oil fuel in July, 1913, put the 

extent of this increase as " nearly 40 per cent." 
Other advantages are that the boilers weigh 
less and occupy less space, that oil can be 
carried in remote parts of the ship from which 
coal could not be brought to the boiler room, 
and also in double bottoms ; and that it can be 
readily pumped on board through a pipe from 
tank* on shore or from an oil steamer, whereas 
the operation of coaling a ship is unpleasant 
even in harbour, and is at the best difficult at 
sea unless the weather is good. The number 
of men in the stokehold is reduced, because 
hand labour is not wanted for trimming and 
stoking, while those who are required work 
under better and less exhausting conditions. 
There are no ashes to be disposed of, and no 
coal dust in an "all-oil " ship. Superior con- 
trol of the output of steam is obtained ; an 
order for increased speed can be responded to 
more quickly, and a reduction in the demand 
for steam, such as is caused by stoppage of 
the engines, can be met without waste'. 

On the other htmd, there are some disnd- 
vantages. The extra pumps and piping mid 
to the complication of the machinery and also 
the weight; the protection obtained from tint 
coal b\mkers is lost in an " all-oil " ship, and t he 
danger from fire is increased should the tanks 
be pierced by a shot and the oil allowed to 
escape. But the chief practical objection 



hinges upon the question of supply. The 
British Isles contain no great oil field or, at 
any rate, none has yet been proved and worked 
and though no doubt the output of shale oil 
is capable of increase and there are possibilities 
of oil being distilled from coal or peat, yet we 
must depend largely on imports .from overseas. 
Mr. Churchill dealt with this question in the 
speech already referred to, and stated that 
while his advisers were of opinion that some 
losses by an enemy's action might be anticipated, 
no serious effect on our naval movements need 
be feared from this cause in war, if the reserves 
were maintained in peace and so long as the 
British command of the sea, on which all else 
depended, was effectively maintained. He 
outlined the ultimate policy of the Admiralty 
as being to become the independent owners and 
producers of their supplies of liquid fuel, first 
by building up an oil reserve in this country 
sufficient to make us safe in war and able to 
override price fluctuations in time of peace ; 
secondly by acquiring the power to deal in 
crude oils as they came cheaply into the market 
and to treat them for naval use ; and thirdly, 
to become the owners, or at any rate the con- 
trollers, at the source of at least a portion of the 

supply of natural oil required by the Navy.* 
But he also remarked that it was not on oil- 
burning sliips that we depended, or were likely 
to depend for many years to come, for the 
protection of our trade routes, and from this 
point of view there is significance in the brightly 
polished shovel prominently displayed in " all- 
oil " sliips with the inscription " Lest we for- 

Besides burning oil under a boiler and, by 
transferring the heat thus generated to water, 
producing high-pressure steam for use in a 
steam engine, there is another way of utilizing 
it for the production of power, by burning it 
mixed with air within the cylinder of an internal 
combustion engine ; the heat then expands the 
products of combustion to many times their 
original volume, and the pressure thus created 
drives forward the piston of the engine, just as 
does the high-pressure steam in the cylinder of 
a reciprocating steam engine, and so produces 

* It was in pursuance of this policy that, as the result 
of a favourable report by a committee sent out in 
October 1913 under Vice-Admiral Sir Edmond Slade, 
the Government were authorized in June 1914 to acquire 
share or loan capital in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company 
to the extent of 2,200,000. See Chapter LIL, Vol. 3, 
p. 109. 

Photographed while the ship was running at full speed. 

2-1 1 

THI-: 77.W/-.-N 


power. Reinc more direct than the other, this 
method might In- expected (<> waste less 
aii> I therefore to be more economical ; and in 
I'.-iet. \v hi TIMS by tin- middle of the second decade 
of the twentieth century the possibility of one horsi'-po\\er per hour by the 
burning of about } Ib. of heavy oil under a 
boiler and using the resulting steam in turbines 
was lit least in sight, if it had not been actually 
reali/.ed. at the samo period one horso-power 
per hour could be obtained by the consumption 
of something like half that amount of oil in 
an internal combustion engine. To the naval 

increasing their si/,e and power, were manu- 
factured only in comparatively small units 
yielding only a few hundred horse-power pel- 
cylinder. Accordingly, to get the large powers 
required to drive the !a.r<re and fast ships of the 
Navy the complication and inconvenience of 
installing and working a great number of smi-ll 
units would have had to be accepted. Never- 
theless, this difficulty did not deter responsible 
engineers from seriously taking up the problem. 
;'.nd various plans for the application of oil 
engines even to the larger naval ships were put 
forward from time to time. 


engineer, always on the look out for means that 
will enable his ships to go farther with a given 
amount of fuel, the prospects offered by such 
engines, with their elimination of all the 
paraphernalia of boilers, would appear particu- 
larly attractive; yet apart from motor boats 
and some oil tank vessels they were employed 
in the British Navy for the propulsion of 
practically only submarines. 

One n-.ison wi-.s that steam turbines could be 
in- leof large sizes, giving thousands of horse- 
power, so that the power required for even the 
largest ships could be- obtained from a com- 
paratively small number of units ; oil engines, 
on the contrary, although promising experi- 
ments were being made with the object of 


For example, in 1907, Mr. James McKechnie, 
of Messrs. Yickers, discussed the question before 
the Institution of Naval Architects, more 
especially from the point of view of the placing 
and use of heavy guns. Earlier in this chapter 
it was noted that one advantage of the screw 
propeller over the paddle wheel was that it 
did away with the interference to the working 
and training of the guns caused by the paddle- 
wheel boxes. But even with the screw, the 
funnels with their uptakes impose some di.-- 
mlvantage, and the guns with their ammuni- 
tion hoists and connected mechanism have to be 
placed in positions dictated by the necessp^ry 
arrangement of the boilers and propelling 
machinery rather than by tactical considera- 



tion<. If therefore by the adoption of internal 
combustion engines the funnels could b3 
abolished and the decks freed from the ob- 
structions brought about by. them, considerable 
advantage would be gained in respect of the 
arrangement and working of the guns, which, 
for example, would have a much wider arc of 
training, with the result of increasing the 
fighting power of the ship for a given arma- 

Mr. McKechnie considered a 16,000 horse- 
power battleship, and proposed to use a form 
of internal combustion engine which had been 
developed at the Vickers works at Barrow-in- 
Furness, and which could be worked either by 
producer gas or by oil. The ship was to be 
propelled by four screws, each driven by a 
ten-cylinder vertical gas engine, placed in the 
aft compartments ; gas-producers of the pres- 
sure type were to occupy the central compart- 
ments, and forward of them were to be four 
sets of air-compressors also driven by gas 
engines. The weights and other particulars of 
the machinery, according as the ship was fitted 
for propulsion by steam, gas, or oil, were com- 
pared in the following table : 




Weight of machinery 

1,585 tons 

1.105 tons 

750 tons 

I.H.P. per ton 




Area occupied by 

machinery, engines 

and boilers or pro- 


7,250 sq.ft. 

5,860 sq. ft. 

4,110sq. ft 

Area per i.h.p. 

0-453 sq.ft. 

0-366 sc|. ft. 

0-257sq. ft. 

Fuel consumption 

per Ib. per i.h.p. 

per hour : 

At full power ... 




At about quarter 

full power ... 


I 1 .1 


Nine years later, also at the Institution of 
Naval Architects, Engineer Lieutenant-Com- 
mander Sillince attacked the question of 
applying Diesel oil engines to the propulsion of 
warships of different classes. For large and fast 
destroyers he concluded that the weight of 
Diesel engines, roughly double in proportion 
to power developed that of the steam turbines 
with oil-fired boilers used in' such vessels, 
put them out of the running, since it would not 
be compensated for by saving in fuel, and the 
case of light unarmoured cruisers was much 
the same. For large cruisers, of a power of the 
order of 70,000 shaft horse-power, and a speed 
of' 30 knots. Ire decided, after working out 
various alternatives, that the only reasonable 

solution was to use cylinders of only moderate 
power (say, 750 to 1,500 horse-power), a con- 
siderable number of cylinders per shaft, and not 
fewer than four shafts preferably six o. 1 eight. 
With six shafts, and 12 1,000 horse-power 
cylinders on each, the weight would be 5,000 
tons, including all auxiliaries, and with eight 
screw shafts, each with 12 750 horse-power 
cylinders, it would be 4,750 tons. It may be 
noted that as compared with these weights, 
geared turbine installations would have the 
advantage, though the oil engines would mean 
a saving in the weight of fuel to be carried for 
the same radius of action. For battleships, 
with smaller requirements of power, he con- 
cluded that with four shafts equal powers 
and speeds could be obtained from Diesel 
engines as from steam with equal weights of 
machinery, and that oil engines would enable 
the radius of action to be increased at least 
threefold at full speed, and fourfold at cruising 
speeds. But while regarding the use of oil 
engines for the propulsion oi battleships and 
large cruisers as an engineering possibility, he 
indicated that Diesel engines had not yet been 
satisfactorily developed to the sizes contem- 
plated in his calculations. 

With the disappearance of sails from the 
ships of the Fleet the abolition of training in 
masts and yards was formally announced in 
1901 the task imposed on the engine-room 
branch became greater and greater, for just as 
warships were helpless without their machinery, 
so the machinery m turn was useless without 
men to work it. In 1830 the Admiralty felt it 
" their bounden duty to discourage the intro- 
duction of stee,m, s calculated to strike a fatal 
blow to the naval supremacy of the Empire " ; 
in 1902 they spoke of the warship as " one huge 
box of engines." In the following the 
Naval Defence Act of 1889 the N&vy underwent 
enormous and almost continuous expansion. 
Not only was the number of ships in it im- 
mensely increased, but, as will be evident from 
the preceding account of the mechanical 
developments of that period, the efforts of the 
engineering nd\i-< is -o the Admiralty brought 
about tremendous advances in the speed and 
power of the individual units, with consequent 
increase in the responsibilities- of the men 
entrusted with their management and manipu- 

The question of providing sullieient numbers 
of officers and men adequately trained for their 



duties in the light of the mechanical character 
of the modern warship thus became of prime 
importance, and it was recognition of this fact 
that led to the promulgation, at the end of 1902, 
of the scheme of naval training associated with 
the names of Lord Selborne and Lord Fisher. 
Previously the engineers of the Navy had been 
a class apart, entering as students between the 
ages of 14J and 16J and separately trained in 
engineering, but without any training in execu- 
tive duties. There had been a good deal of 
agitation for the improvement of their .status 

noting executive rank. Lord" Fisher, indeed, 
with his marvellous prevision, was the first 
naval authority to recognize fully the value 
cf the engineering side of tin 1 Xtvvy and the 
necessity that all executive naval officers 
should have an engineering training. 

The system of common entry was therefore 
instituted. Under it all officers for the execu- 
tive and engineer branches of the Navy and for 
the Royal Marines were to enter the service as 
naval cadets under exactly the same conditions 
between the ages of 12 and 13, two years earlier 

[A n^lo-Mexican Petroleum Products Cf. 


generally, and that the problems they presented 
had not been overlooked is shown by the fact 
that in 14 years 14 Orders in Council were issued 
affecting the engineer officers. The Selborne- 
Fisher scheme, which began to come into 
operation in 1903, recognized a fact expressed 
by President Roosevelt in the words : " Every 
officer on board a modern vessel in reality has to 
be an engineer whether he wants to or not ; 
everything on board such a vessel goes by 
machinery, and every officer . . . has to 
do engineer's work." Its object was to cast an 
engineering tinge over all officers, and to (lint 
end it ordained that the first years of training 
should be the same for all of them, whatever 
the direction in which they might ultimivtely 
specialize. In connexion with the effect which 
the scheme was intended to have in the direc- 
tion of unifying the executive and the engi- 
neering branches, it is noteworthy that it was 
Lord Fisher who WHS responsible for one of 
the latest concessions to the engineers, in the 
shape of the coveted curl on the sleeve, de 

than the cadets under the old system. They 
were then to be trained all in exactly the same 
way until they had passed for the rank of 
sub-lieutenant between the ages of 10 and 20. 
They were to spend their first four years at the 
Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, receiving 
elementary instruction in physics and marine 
engineering and the use of tools and machines, 
and then were to go to sea as midshipmen for 
three years. During this period special atten- 
tion was to be paid to their instruction in 
mechanics and the other applied sciences, ii.n<l 
to marine engineering, under the supervision 
of the engineer, gunnery, marine, navignt ing 
and torpedo lieutenants of their rcspei-n\i- 
ships ; and after its expiry, on satisfactorily 
passing the specified examinations, they were 
to become acting sub-lieutenants. A three 
months' course in mathematics and navigation 
and pilotage was to follow at Greenwich, and 
then a six months' course in gunnery, torpedo, 
and engineering at Portsmouth ; then, after 
passing more examinations, they were to be 



confirmed in the rank ot sub-lieutenant. At 
this stage their careers were for the first time 
to begin to diverge, and they were to be posted 
to the executive or the engineering branch of 
the Navy or to the Royal Marines, freedom of 
choice being allowed so far as possible. Those 
sub -lieutenants who elected to specialize in 
engineering were to go to Keyham Engineering 
College for a professional course, after which 
some were to go to Greenwich for a further 
course, and the remainder to sea. All would 
then, if qualified, be promoted to be lieutenants 
under the same conditions as the executives. 
This is an outline of the original scheme, more 
particularly as it affected the engineering 
branch, put forward in Lord Selborne's memo- 
randum, but sundry modifications were sub- 
sequently made in it, without, however, changing 
its general character. 

It was arranged under the scheme that the 
ranks of engineer officers should be assimilated 
to the corresponding ranks of executive officers, 
and that the former should wear the same 
uniform and bear the same titles of rank 
sub-lieutenant (E), lieutenant (E), commander 
(E), captain (E), and rear-admiral (E), to which 
was subsequently added lieutenant-commander 
(E). At the same time it was thought desirable 
to harmonize the position of the existing 
officers of the engineering branch with the 
new order of things. Accordingly assistant 
engineers for temporary service and assistant 
engineers became engineer sub-lieutenants ; 
engineers, chief engineers, and staff engineers 
became engineer-lieutenants ; fleet engineers 
became engineer-commanders ; inspectors of 
machinery became engineer-captains, and chief 
inspectors of machinery became engineer rear- 
admirals. The engineer-in-chief became an 
engineer rear-admiral, but the Admiralty 
reserved the power, which they exercised in 
the case of Sir A. J. Durston, the chief engineer 
at the time the scheme came into operation, 
and his two successors, to promote the officer 
holding that high post to the rank of engineer 
vice-admiral. The pay of engineering officers 
was also raised. 

A scheme for the advancement of men in the 
engineering branch to commissioned rank from 
the lower deck was instituted at the beginning 
of 1914, nearly two years after a similar 
arrangement had been brought into force for the 
executive branch. Lord Selborne's memoran- 
dum had expressed the desire of the Admiralty 
to see their way to promote a certain proportion 

of gunners, boatswains and carpenters to the 
commissioned ranks, and had announced that 
a list had already been drawn up of GO appoint- 
ments to whicli those < iflirers could be advanced. 
The proportion of each branch of warrant 
officer to be promoted to lieutenant \viis to be 
the same, as nearly as possible, us the proportion 
of each of those branches to the combined total 
of the warrant officers' list, and a proportionate 
allotment was promised on the same prin- 
ciples to the warrant officers of the engineer 

The rank of mate (E) that is, mate engi- 
neering was established in January, 1914. 
The arrangement was that recommended 
candidates finally selected by the Admiralty 
were, after passing a qualifying examina- 
tion, to be given the rank of acting mate (E), 
and then to attend courses at Greenwich 
and Keyham. Examinations followed each 
course, and if the acting mates passed success- 
fully they were confirmed in their rank and 
appointed to seagoing ships, where they messed 
in jthe wardroom. After a minimum period 
of service of two years as acting mate (E) 
and mate (E) they were to be promoted to 
engineer lieutenants, and afterwards were to be 
subject in all respects to the regulations apply- 
ing to officers of that rank. The first list of 
mates (E), 12 in number, was published in 
December, 1914, with seniority of November 1, 
and the first three to pass, after the two years' 
qualifying service in the Fleet, were promoted 
to acting engineer lieutenants on November 1, 

From its very nature the Selborne-Fisher 
scheme of training could come into full opera- 
tion only gradually, and its effects could not 
make themselves felt for many years. Indeed, 
in order to keep up the supply of officers, the 
old system had to be maintained concurrently 
for a period which in the case of the engineer-, 
extended to five years ; and it was not until 
April, 1914, that the first batch of lieutenants 
specializing in engineering joined the Royal 
Naval Engineering College at Keyham for their 
final year of professional training, after serving 
at sea as commissioned officers for two years, a 
portion of which time they spent, like nil other 
officers under the new scheme, in the engine 
room, performing the ordinary duties of junior 
engineer officers. The great bulk of the engi- 
neers in the ships that fought in the war must 
therefore have been trained under the old 
system, and whatever the new methods were to 




bring forth in the future, that at least was most 
amply vindicated by results. 

Just as a warship's engines are buried out of 
sight in the depths of its interior below the 
water line, so few of the deeds done by those 
in charge of them came into the light of 
day. The efforts of the engine-room staffs 
were, however, generously recognized by the 
admirals in command at the three great 
naval battles of the Falkland Islands, the 
Dogger Bank, and Jutland. As regards the 
first Sir Doveton Sturdee said in his dispatch 
that great credit was due to the engineer officers 
of the ships, several of which exceeded their 
normal full speed, and he referred specially to 
the case of the Kent, which, thanks to the 
" excellent and strenuous efforts of the engine- 
room staff," was able to get within range of the 
Niirnberg and sink her. As Mr. Churchill sub- 
sequently explained to Parliament, the Kent 
was a vessel 13 years old, designed to go only 23 
knots, but she was forced up to 25 knots and 
thus was able to catch the Niirnberg, which had 
a spsed considerably over 24i knots. 

At the Dogger Bank action Sir David Beatty 
said the excellent steaming of the ships was a 
conspicuous feature, and later Mr. Churchill 
added that all the vessels engaged in the action 
exceeded all their previous records in steaming, 
without exception. He continued : 

Here is a squadron of the Fleet which does not lie in 
harbour but is fur away from its dockyard ; and which dur- 
ing six months of war has been constantly at sea. All of a 
sudden the greatest trial is demanded of their engines, and 
they all excel all the previous peace-time records. Can 
you conceive a more remarkable proof of the excelk-nci 1 
of British machinery, of the glorious industry of the 
engine-room branch ? 

At Jutland Sir David Beatty said that "as 
usual the engine-room departments of all .ships 

displayed the highest qualities of technical skill, 
discipline and endurance. High speed is a 
primary factor in the squadron under my com- 
mand [the Battle -Cruiser Fleet], and the engine- 
room departments never fail." Again, Sir John 
Jellicoe reported that while the battle fleet was 
proceeding at full speed to close the battle- 
cruiser fleet in the same action, the steaming 
qualities of the older battleships were severely 
tested, and he attributed great credit to the 
engine-room departments for the manner in 
which they, "as always," responded to the 
call, the whole Fleet maintaining a speed in 
excess of the trial speeds of some of the older 
vessels. In another part of his dispatch he 
stated that failures in material were conspicuous 
by their absence, and that several instances 
were reported of magnificent work on the part 
of the engine-room staffs of injured ships. The 
artisan ratings, he added, also carried out much 
valuable work during and after the action, and 
could not have done better. 

One other passage from his dispatch may be 
quoted in conclusion : 

It must never be forgotten that the prelude to action 
is the work of the engine-room department, and that 
during action the officers and men of that department | >r r 
form their most important duties without the incentive 
which a knowledge of the Course of the action gives 
those on deck. The qualities of discipline and endurance 
are taxed to the utmost under such conditions, and they 
were, as always, most fully maintained throughout the 
operations under review. 

A distinguished admiral, who was a vigorous 
critic of the Selborne- Fisher scheme of training, 
once said that so far as nerve trial goes the 
engineer's post is an easy one. Mr. Kipling 
showed a much juster appreciation of the facts 
when he wrote the lines, " To bide in the heart 
of an eight-day clock The death they cannot 
see. . . . And die in the peeling steam." 








THE history of the German treatment 
of prisoners of war up to the early 
summer of 1917 divides itself natur- 
ally into three stages. There came 
first a period of great neglect and vindictive, 
active hatred. This was followed by a time of 
betterment, when conditions in many camps 
improved, when the fierce antagonism of the 
civilian population had partly abated, and 
when men on both sides were attempting to 
humanize the conditions under which the 
prisoners lived. The third stage arrived when 
the Germans organized and developed a system 
for the exploitation of prisoner labour, to 
produce munitions and foodstuffs, and to replace 
the lost industrial manhood of the nation. 

The Germans had large numbers of men on 
their hands. The Russians alone in Germany 
and Austria were roughly estimated, early in 
1917, at about two millions. The Serbian 
prisoners numbered 150,000. No figures were 
to be had about the French prisoners, but they 
were known to be very numerous. The British 
prisoners in Germany numbered, in June, 1917 f 
1,354 officers and 34,304 of other ranks. The 
number of Allied prisoners in Germany apart 
Vol. XII Part 150. 229 

from Austria was stated in a semi-official 
return in August, 1916, to be 1,663,794. Other 
estimates were higher. Thus Mr. Gerard, the 
former American Ambassador in Berlin, 
reckoned the number of prisoners at two 
millions. The total was probably much the 
same a year later, as the further prisoners taken 
would have largely compensated for those 
exchanged, and for the very large number 
particularly of Russians who died from tuber- 
culosis and other diseases. 

The first stage of neglect and vindictive hatred 
lasted until the second year of the war. Prisoners 
were insulted by civilians, whenever they could 
reach them. In many camps they were 
systematically ill-treated by their guards. 
They were poorly housed sometimes kept 
wholly in the open ill clad and ill fed. They 
were denied the simplest necessities of life. 
Their sick and dying were often left without 
adequate treatment. Many details of this 
period were given in an earlier chapter. Later 
information added to the horrors. 

Thus the account of the sufferings of Allied 
prisoners at Wittenberg given in Chapter CII. 
was supplemented later by a report from the 



British Committee on the Treatment by the 
K:iemy of British Prisoners of \Var. This 
C until it tee examined various returned pri- 
soners, including the British Army doctors who 
were at Wittenberg, on oath. Its report appalled 
the civilized work!. 

Wittenberg Camp covered 10J acres, and was 



Chairman of the Committee on the Treatment of 
British Prisoners of War. 

built on a flat, sandy plain. The number of 
prisoners there, between 15,000 and 17,000, 
largely exceeded the accommodation of the 
buildings. They were mostly Russians, but 
there were a number of French and Belgians, 
and between 700 and 800 British. 

The winter of 191415 was extremely severe. 
The men were insufficiently clothed, and then 
was little artificial heat available. The over- 
coats of most of the British prisoners had 
been taken from them on their capture, and no 
fresh ones supplied. Their remaining clothes 
were often in rags. There were many with 
neither boots nor socks. Their food was 
bad and insufficient. 

The Cermaii authorities could not have 
adqpted surer methods had they desired to 
cause ;in outbreak of typhus. This di.-en~e 
was known to be latent among the Russian 
troops. Instead of keeping the men of other 
ns apart, all were mixed together. Each 
British prisoner had as his sleeping companions 

one Russian and one Frenchman. There was 
only one mattress for tliree prisoners. 

Prisoners arrived covered with vermin. No 
attempt was made to clean them, and they had 
no facilities for cleaning themselves, had they 
wished. Lice are the great medium for con- 
veying typhus. When the disease showed 
itself, a request was made that the remaining 
healthy English prisoners might be placed 
together in one compound. It was insultingly 

The epidemic broke out in December, 1914. 
The German staff, doctor, orderlies, officers, 
guards, immediately left the camp, drew a 
cordon aro\uid it, and held no communication 
with the prisoners until the following August, 
except by directions which they shouted from 
the outside of the wire entanglements. Food 
and other supplies for the men were pushed 
over the wires by means of chutes. 

Six British . medical officers, who had been 
detained by the Germans contrary to the 
Hague Convention, were sent to Wittenberg. 
They were Major Fry, Major Priestly, Captain 
Sutcliffe, Captain Field, Captain Vidal, and 
Captain (then Lieutenant) Lauder. They 
arrived on February 11, 1915. They only 
learned of typhus being in the camp from the 
guard on the train. "They visited the 
different compounds," says the report. " They 
were received in apathetic silence. The rooms 
were unlighted, the men were aimlessly march- 
ing up and down, some were lying on the floor, 
probably sickening for typhus. When they 
got into the open air again Major Fry broke 
down. The horror of it all was for the moment 
more than he could bear." 

Major Priestly and Captain Vidal were sent 
to two temporary hospitals outside the camp 
and four officers were left inside. They found 
p.n appalling condition of things, many ill, many 
without attention, dirt, neglect and semi- 
starvation everywhere. In the improvised 
hospital there were no mattresses. Sick 
prisoners were hidden everywhere in the camp, 
refusing to go into hospital. There were 
no stretchers to carry the typhus cases on. 
They had to be carried on tables from which 
men ate their food. As these tables could not 
he washed, they proved an effective means of 
conveying the disease. The ( German autho- 
rities refused to permit the most elementary 
pn cautions to be taken. During the first 
month the daily food ration for each patient was 
half a petit pain and half a cup of milk. Their 



soup camp from the camp kitchen in a wooden 
tub without a cover and arrived full of dust 
and dirt. 

The four medical officers left in the camp were 
all attacked with the disease. Major Fry, 
Captain Sutcliffe, and Captain Field, died. 
Captain Lander was stricken last of all. 
He alone of the four recovered. On March 
1 1 Major Priestly and Captain Vidal were sent 
back to the main camp. They were met 
by Captain Field. Major Fry and Captain 
Sutcliffe were then dying, and Captain Lander 
was in the early stages of typhus. Captain 
Field succumbed soon after. 

" Major Priestly saw delirious men waving 
arms brown to the elbow with faecal matter. 
The patients were alive with vermin ; in the 
half light he attempted to brush what he took 
to be an accumulation of dust from the folds 
of a patient's clothes, and he discovered it to 
be a moving mass of lice. In one room in 
Compound No. 8 the patients lay so close to 
one another on the floor that he had to stand 
straddle -legged across them to examine them." 

It was extremely difficult to obtain sufficient 
drugs and dressings. Bed sores were common. 
In several cases toes or the whole foot were 
attacked by gangrene, dressings were not 
available to treat them, and consequently the 
limbs had to be amputated. 

The three officers left, Major Priestly, 
Captain Vidal, and Captain Lauder, the last 

named bravely resuming his duty when con- 
valescent, threw themselves into the work of 
bringing order out of chaos. They secured 
some improvement in the diet. Clothing, 
boots and bedding were gradually collected. 
About four weeks after Major Priestly came Dr. Aschenbach, the German doctor 
supposed to be in charge of the camp, paid his 
one visit to it. He came attired in a complete 
suit of protective clothing, including a mask. 
He made a brief and rapid inspection and did 
not return. 

The whole administration of Wittenberg 
Camp was in keeping with the handling of the 
typhus epidemic. The cruelty there from the 
very commencement had become notorious. 
Savage dogs were kept to terrorise the prisoners. 
Men were frequently flogged with rubber 
whips, beaten at the whim of their guards and 
tied to posts with their arms above their heads 
for hours. This cruelty revealed itself in 
gratuitous form even during the height of the 

The dead were buried in a cemetery formed 
out of part of the camp. So many died that 
there was not room for all, and the coffins 
were piled one above another. " What the 
prisoners found hardest to bear in this matter," 
says the Report, " were the jeers with which 
the coffins were frequently greeted by the 
inhabitants of Wittenberg who stood outside 
and were permitted to insult their dead." 




Out of between 250 and 300 English eases 
there wen- GO deaths, and had it not been for 
the splendid work of the British Medical Staff 
and orderlies few would have escaped. The 
British Medical Officers in their fight for 
improved conditions were strongly backed by 
Mr. Gerard and his representatives. He visited 
the camp and made indignant representations 
to the German authorities. 

The record of Wittenberg was rivalled by 
that of Gardelegen, a large camp between 
Berlin and Hanover, holding some 11,000 
prisoners, mainly French, Russian and Bel- 
gians, and including 260 British. Here, in 
February, 1915, an epidemic of typhus broke 
out. The conditions largely resembled those 
at Wittenberg. The prisoners of different 
nationalities were mixed together, Russians 
with latent typhus being placed side by side 
with British and French. The compounds 
were overcrowded. The huts for the men 
contained four rows of palliasses stuffed with 
straw or shavings. Each palliasse touched the 
other, and only the narrowest passage-way 
was left between the rows. Here the men 
of all nationalities were packed together. They 
lived, slept and fed, sitting on their bags of 
shavings to eat their meals for there were no 
tables or stools walking over each other in 

passing in and out. "They lay there sick," 
wrote Major Davy of the U.A.M.C., who was 
called to the camp, "and later on in many 
eases died there cheek by jowl with their 
fellow prisoners." 

Most of the prisoners were half starved. 
The British and French received parcels from 
home. The Russians received scarcely any- 
thing, and it was nothing unusual to see a 
crowd of them on their hands and knees in the 
pit in which potato peelings were thrown, 
struggling to find a stray potato or a piece of 
rind with a little more potato on it than usual. 
The prisoners of all nationalities were miserably 
clothed. Many of them had no boots at all. 
Thus, out of 260 British, only about 30 had a 
pair of serviceable boots. One hundred who 
were bootless had to walk about with their 
feet tied up in straw and rags or in blanket 
slippers which they had made for themselves. 
Their mixed clothing was ragged bits of Belgian, 
French or Russian uniforms ; their overcoats 
had, as a rule, been taken away when they 
were captured. They were unspeakably filthy 
and swarming with vermin, being unable to 
keep themselves clean. Their guards, German 
N.C.O.'s, bullied them in a most outrageous 
way, driving them about with kicks and blows. 

Early in February the German authorities 





became fearful that an epidemic was impending, 
and doctors, themselves prisoners of war four 
French,three British, and one Russian were sent 
to the camp. Three more Russian doctors came 
later. The three British were Major P. C. T. 
Davy, Captain A. J. Brown and Captain Scott - 
Williams. The British doctors were horrified 
at what they saw. Major Davy, in describing 
the scene to the British Government Committee 
wrote : 

In passing through the camp on the day we arrived 
I had been struck by the complete silence everywhere. 
A few prisoners were standing or pacing to and fro, singly 
and in groups, in complete dejection and apathy. There 
was no talking or laughter, nobody was playing games. 
The only sounds heard were brutally shouted orders of 
the sentries, who were closely posted in every direction. 
Now, in passing from one company to another, and 
talking to the prisoner*, one could not but be struck 
by the gaunt, hunted look they all bore. So much 
wretchedness and sickness concentrated in such a small 
area, such a sense of the absence of any sort of human 
feeling, made one utterly shocked and miserable. It was 
still sadder to see that what was all so horrible to me in 
its novelty had for them become so much part of their 
life that they accepted it almost without comment. 

Captain Brown said that on entering the 
' barrack room the first time the shock he received 
was too awful for words. He found there about 
150 of the most miserable human object.-, lie 
ever beheld. " The men were emaciated, ill 
clad, and dirty beyond description, and in most 

cases were engaged in killing as many lice as 
possible in their clothes, " to keep the numbers 
down as much as possible," as one put it. 

The doctors next morning met the camp 
commandant, Colonel Brunner, at the camp 
hospital. He was a man of extremely violent 
temper and always brutal towards the prisoners. 
He treated them, whatever their nationality, 
not as prisoners of war, but as men who had 
earned and were to receive rigorous punish- 
ment. He told the doctors that if they obeyed 
orders and did their work without complaining 
they would be well treated, but if not they 
would be punished. They saw Dr. Wenzil, the 
German Staff doctor of the camp, who showed 
them a hospital very much overcrowded and a 
meagre supply of drugs and dressings, about 
four ounces of epsom salts and three or four 
dozen tablets each of quinine, aspirin and 
calomel. There were, besides, a dozen or two 
bandages, an armful of gauze and lint dressings 
and a very small case of surgeon's instruments. 
This was the hospital equipment. 

Typhus came and the number of cases 
mounted rapidly. At first the fact that it was 
typhus was not clearly established, but a 
eciiiiniission of German doctors arrived and 
evidently satisfied itself that the disease was 





genuine typhus. Then followed a desertion of 
the camp by the Germans similar to the 
cowardly flight from Wittenberg. In two 
hours not a German was left. Every German 
orderly disappeared, as did Dr. Wenzil and 
Dr. Wenzil's assistant. The German women in 
the prison kitchens disappeared. The German 
guards led back their dogs, unlocking every 
gate of every compound and withdrawing 
beyond the outermost barbed wire fence. The 
prisoners could not at first make out what had 

Later in the afternoon the French, Russian 
and English doctors were summoned to the 
outer barbed wire to meet the commandant. 
He told them that the camp was in quarantine. 
A sentry cordon had been drawn round it. 
Nothing of any kind was to pass out. The 
sentries had orders to shoot anyone who 
attempted to leave. He held the doctors 
responsible for the treatment of the sick, t In- 
discipline and good order of the camp and its 
gencnil internal arrangements. He or an officer 
would come to the same spot daily and would 
receive what requisitions and representations 
they had to make. A bell would be hung up 
outside and upon its being rung someone must 
go to the fence to receive orders. 

The doctors did their best. They had prac- 
tically no drugs, no medical conveniences and 
not even the simplest invalid fare. The same 
rations were served out bv the Germans for sick 


and well alike : black bread, the weekly raw 
herring, and vegetable soup. 

Dr. Wenzil ran away in vain, for soon after 
his departure he sickened and died from 
typhus, a victim. >of his own neglect. A new 
medical officer was appointed, but he never 
came into the camp, merely accompanying the 
commandant on his daily interview, standing 
outside the cordon. A third German medical 
officer was appointed later and then things 
began to mend. Supplies now began to arrive. 
Although the third man, Dr. Kranski,- was 
elderly, he himself worked hard and did every- 
thing that he could to obtain supplies of 
medicines. These, however, still continued to 
be amazingly short. 

The epidemic lasted four months and tin-re 
were two thousand cases, fortunately of a mild 
type, so that only 15 per cent, of those attacked 
died. Among those who recovered very many 
had extremely bad sores, gangrene, large ulcers 
and other suppurations demanding medical 
dressings. These dressings \\cre not to be had. 

By the end of June the typhus had burned 
itself out. To many of the prisoners-the relief 
caused by the absence of the German guards 
had made the experiences through the epidemic, 
terrible as they were, appear like a ray of light. 
The doctors of different nationalities had done 
magnificently. They had been helped by ten 
French Roman Catholic priests who were 
prisoners and who volunteered to work amongst 



the sick. Eight of them contracted the disease 
and five died. Soldiers of all nationalities had 
heroically volunteered to act as nursing order- 
lies, although they had to live among the cases 
of infection without any means of protecting 
themselves. Twenty-two of the attendants 
were British. Twenty of these caught the 
disease and two of the twenty died. There were 
sixteen doctors in the camp ; twelve took the 
fever and two died. The doctors of each 
nationality could not speak too highly of the 
devotion of their colleagues from other lands. 

The German commandant on his daily visits 
to the outer wires expressed no regret and 
showed no sympathy or interest, but took 
up an attitude of detachment and even of 
hostility. From the outset he did his utmost to 
crush down the prisoners. Thus some football 
matches were promoted by the doctors, at first 
with balls made with rags. These were 
promptly forbidden. Then the British doctors 
started boxing amongst the men who were well. 
Major Davy was severely reprimanded for this 
and the boxing had to cease. 

About the same time there was an epidemic 
at Stendal, where the experiences were very 
similar. When typhus broke out the German 
guards and doctors fled, leaving French and 
Russian doctors with the sick within a barbed- 
wire enclosure. The conditions at Stendal, the 
brutality, the harsh punishments, the abomin- 

able food, and the absence of proper medical 
treatment or medical supplies, were such that it 
would be difficult to convey any adequate 
impression of them. The prisoners were reduced 
to desperation. Their midday ration was what 
was called potato soup, a filthy decoction with 
herrings' heads floating in it and smelling of 
rotten fish. One day the French prisoners 
refused the soup, which was unusually bad. 
According to Dr. Ribadeau-Dumas, who was 
sent with other doctors to Stendal, these 
prisoners were then made to stand motionless 
in two rows for a couple of 'hours ; afterwards 
they were placed in a barbed-wire enclosure 
with some sixty -prisoners from Wittenberg 
suspected oi typhus. During the epidemic 
several of the French and Russian medical men 
fell victims. Very little was done until the 
disease began to spread outside among the 
German people. Then the Germans took some 
measures to treat it. 

Epidemics of examathous typhus broke out 
-also at Langensalza and at Cassel-Nied- 
zwehren, produced solely by the deliberate 
bringing together of prisoners of different 
nationalities, including Russians, who were 
well known to be carrying the contagion. When 
protests- were made the German authorities 
sarcastically remarked that " the Allies must 
learn to know one another." Some German 
doctors protested against this. The com- 


**# t* 




mandant of theCassel camp said : "That is my 
way of lighting the war." The cases of typhus 
at Cassel were estimated at ten thousand, 
including two thousand deaths. 

At Schneidemiihl, in Posen, a very large 
camp holding mostly Russian prisoners, there 
came a batch of British. These were left for 

fell in torrents, and rain was followed by bitter 
cold. They tried to erect turf huts for them- 
selves to find some shelter. There were many 
wounded men among them, and these received 
the scantiest possible treatment and in some 
cases no treatment at nil. 

By November, 1914, when floods were 


a fortnight to shelter themselves as well a^ 
they could in holes in the ground, then they 
were moved to wooden barracks. They were 
vermin stricken and had no means of keeping 
clean. Their clothes were scanty and even 
their boots were taken from them and sabots 
given in their place. But for the fact that 
their Russian comrades in misfortune took 
pity on them many of the men must have died. 
There came an outbreak of typhus here brought 
on by starvation and filth. It was followed 
by an epidemic of cholera. Fourteen hundred 
men died from typhus and in one compound 
alone 360 died from cholera. Among those 
who died were twenty-one British soldiers. 
The German doctors deserted this camp. Some 
Russian doctors, notably Dr. Popoff, were left, 
but they were not provided with even the most 
elementary medicines. The epidemics ran 
their coiner. 

At Minden about 13,000 French soldiers and 
a few score of men of other nations, including 
some British civilian prisoners, were turned out 
on a stretch of heath surrounded by a wire 
enclosure. There was absolutely nothing on 
it to shelter them. They were shut in, as one 
of the prisoners said, " like cattle turned out 
to graze.' They remained there for ten 
weeks. Their food was very scanty. Rain 

IN OCTOBER 1914. WuHomtSntm. 

followed by frost, the condition of the prisoners 
was pitiable indeed. They remained in the open 
until November 20, when barracks which had 
been built for them were completed. 

The spring of 1916 saw, however, a gradual 
improvement in the conditions of the prisoners 
in many camps. For this the chief credit w-as 
due to Mr. Gerard, the American Ambassador. 
Mr. Gerard and his assistants were tireless in 
their efforts to better things. At the begin- 
ning the commandants of some camps tried to 
deceive them by changing men from bad 
quarters to good immediately before the visi- 
tors came, or by hanging carcases of meat 
outside the kitchens to give the impression 
that the prisoners were being well fed. Mr. 
Gerard and his assistants met this by visiting 
many camps unannounced. They always 
asked for permission to talk to the prisoners 
alone, .outside the hearing of a German officer. 
They invited complaints. At times they met 
with stubborn opposition from the German 
officers ; sometimes they were refused per- 
mission to see particular cases of men who were 
alleged to be ill-treated. But there can be no 
doubt that for a considerable time, while Ger- 
many was anxious to placate American opinion, 
Mr. Gerard secured great improvements. 



Thus at Parshim, a camp described earlier 
in the war as being as bad as anywhere, the 
conditions were so changed by the summer of 
1916 that the outlook for the prisoners there 
was entirely different. Wittenberg, the camp 
of horrors, was given a fresh commandant 
and better methods. Sennelager was trans- 
formed out of knowledge. But even in the 
best of the camps the condition of the prisoners 
could scarcely fail to be an unhappy one. 
" You, sitting here," said Mr. Gerard later on 
to an audience in New York, " cannot imagine 
the horror of living two and a half years in a 
German prison camp. I know because I saw." 

Mr. Gerard, speaking in New York in April, 
1917, related some incidents which shed a vivid 
light on the conditions of the men. He said 
that on one occasion the North German Gazette 
stated that a number of inhabitants of a North 
German town had been found guilty and sen- 
tenced to varying terms of imprisonment for 
improper and unpatriotic conduct towards 
prisoners of war and that their names had been 
published and themselves exposed to shame 
that their falsity might be made known to 
generations of Germans to come. " Good," said 
Mr. Gerard to himself, " at last some of these 
Germans are to be punished for maltreating 
prisoners of war ! " 

He directed the American consul in that town 


to make a report on the matter. The consul 
sent back word that a trainload of Canadian 
.prisoners of war was being taken through the 
town when it was found necessary to put the 
train on a siding Some of the prisoners let the 
people who had gathered curiously round them 
know that they were starving and thirsty. The 
townspeople thereupon gave them food and 
drink, and that was the crime for which they 

Photographed after a medical examination at Konstanz. 



wpre imprisoned and held up to , obloquy. 
" I had seen small boys," said Mr. Gerard, 
"with German .simplicity and ignorance, march- 
ing about the prison camps armed with bows 
and arrows and shooting arrows tipped with 
nails at the prisoners, but I had not previously 
heard anything quite like this. I had read in 
history that at the beginning of the Reforma- 


tion Martin Luther nailed his thesis to 
the door of the Cathedral. After this you 
know whom I would like to have nailed to 
that door." 

Mr. Gerard went on to tell how in one camp 
where there was typhus fever among the 
Russians the Germans placed English and 
French prisoners with them in the typhus camp, 
declaring that all the Allies should stick 

together, thus condemning numbers of them to 
certain death. 

At another camp 1 visited they had trained German 
sheep dogs to bite the British, and when the guards 
went through the camp they took trained dogs with 
thom, and it was seldom the animals failed to lute British 
soldiers. I complained in Berlin about the matter, 
and for a long time my complaint was unnoticed. 
Nothing was done until 1 told the Commandant that 
I was a very good pistol shot and that I was thinking 
about going out shooting some trained do^s and seeing 
what they would do about it. Shortly afterwards the 
Commandant was removed. 

In some of the officer camps the provision for 
the comfort of the prisoners was reasonably 
adequate. One of the best of these was at 
Blankenburg, a few miles out of Berlin. Here 
there were 110 officers, of whom nine were 
British. The building was a four-storeyed house, 
heated throughout and lighted by gas and had 
been formerly used as a Home for Gentlewomen 
It was surrounded by well-kept grounds, in 
which a tennis court had just been built. 
There were several moderately furnished mess 
and recreation rooms and a terrace used for 
afternoon tea. The older officers were given 
single rooms and were usually attended by 
British orderlies. Officers below the rank of 
major occupied the larger rooms, not more than 
ten in any one room, the beds being arranged in 
pairs one above the other. There were baths 




on each floor and a general wash-room for the 
use of junior officers. The prisoners were 
allowed to remain in the garden until 6 p.m., 
and in the open-air court of the building until 
dark. Lights were turned out at 10 o'clock, 
and junior officers had to rise at seven in the 
morning. Smoking was permitted generally. 
It was reported that the commandant was 
interested in his work and evidently he did all 
that he could to make the conditions agreeable. 

officers and men the more brutal commandants 
were changed. Bathing facilities were pro- 
vided. The men were allowed to play football 
and in some camps to smoke. 

This general temporary improvement did not, 
however, prevent a vast amount of suffering. 
In some cases, when friendly relations began to 
be established between guards and the prisoners, 
the German authorities censured the guards. 


In another camp at Kronach, in Bavaria, 
the senior British officer devised various 
schemes to give his juniors certain duties which 
would keep them occupied every day. Lawn 
tennis was practically compulsory for all in a 
condition to play. Several, officers had taken 
up gardening. There were opportunities for 
bowling, and after a time the British officers 
were allowed to take frequent walks into the 
neighbouring country. Further, the officers 
were allowed to use the open-air town swimming 
baths under parole in summer time. They had 
weekly religious services. There were many 
musical instruments in their camp and general 
consideration was shown to them. 

In many of the camps for non-commis^-i'ined 

Mr. Gerard, in a report in November, 1916, told 
how at the camp at Siid-Edewechter-Moor, in 
Oldenburg, the commandant had complained 
that he had difficulty in preventing some of the 
guards from being too easy-going with the 
prisoners. In order to make the guards more 
iitientive, a pri/.c was offered to the first who 
should shoot a prisoner who wont into the pro- 
hibited zone between the wires surrounding the 
camp. The attention of the superior military 
authorities at Hanover \vns at once called to 
this, and they disapproved of and revoked the 
order. Another example of the temper of some 
of the German authorities was related in the 
Deutsche Tageazeitung in January, 1917. Ac- 
cordmtr to this paper, Hindenburg was visiting 



a hospital on the Western front. There were 
some wounded English officers there, and they 
wore being tended by a nurse who spoko 
English well, having been 11 years in England. 
He angrily ordered her to be taken away. " I 
am unwilling," he said, " that the English 
should be better treated here than my brave 
soldiers who have the misfortune to be English 
war prisoners." The remark showed that the 
Marshal was misinformed about British methods. 
Not only were the Germans treated in hospital 

in the camp at Diiberitz, and that after working in the 
wet he had no means of drying his clothes and could 
get no underclothes. The men were covered with lice. 
In July, 1915, he got rheumatic fever through going 
on daily fatigue duty, getting wet through, and having 
no change, lie WHS sent to hospital, and after five week - 
wa> convalescent, and was sent to another camp culled 
Dyrotz, about seven kilometres from Doberitz. He had 
to curry nil his kit on the march, and broke down and 
was never well after that. A little later he was put 
into hospital at Doheritz, where he had no treatment 
at all and had to depend upon an English prisoner, 
one of the patients. They had no drugs. When he 
arrived in this country he was in an advanced stage of 
consumption and extremely emaciated, and he died in 


exactly the same as British soldiers, but every 
effort was made to find nurses who spoke 
German for them, official interpreters were in 
attendance, and the orderlies were provided 
with small conversation books in order that they 
might readily understand the requirements of 
their prisoner patients. 

One case that caused much indignation in 
England was that of Private Tully, of the Royal 
Marines. Tully was captured at Antwerp, at the 
beginning of the war a big, strong man. He was 
returned to England in February, 1916, and after 
lingering a fortnight died at Millbank Hospital. 

Mr. Herbert Samuel, in answer to a question 
in the House of Commons, said : 
It appears from his statements that he was confined 

hospital a fortnight after his arrival. The Medical 
Board, who reported upon his condition, stated that it 
was due to exposure and insufficient food and clothing 
whilst a prisoner in Germany. 

The trial of Roger Casement, in the summer 
of 1916, on a charge of high treason served to 
bring vividly before the British public the 
constancy of the Irish soldier prisoners of 
war. The story, already well known and dealt 
with in an earlier chapter, of Casement's 
attempts to win over the Irish was related in 
court by various Irish returned prisoners of 
war. It was told how the Irish prisoners, after 
refusing to act as traitors, had been punished by 
having Russians introduced into their ranks, 
and how one of them had been transferred to 
another camp for punishment. Only about 56 



men had been induced to join Casement. Of 
these only one was thought fit to go to Ireland 
with him when he attempted to start a rebellion. 
The one man pleaded that he had joined to see 
if he could escape from Germany. 

There was an unfortunate sequel to the 
Casement affair. Two Irish prisoners at Lim- 
burg the camp where Casement had made his 
chief effort Moran and Dewlin by name, were 
shot by German sentries. The German plea 
was that the men had attacked their sentries ; 
the British evidence went to show that they 
were shot because they had refused to join 
Casement's Irish Brigade. 

The two chief compla'nts made by the 
prisoners were about food and punishments. 
The British prisoners were universally agreed 
that the food served to them was insufficient in 
quantity and very bad in quality. The food 
varied very much in different camps. Thus 

the bread ration was a little over J Ib. per man 
per day in some camps and 14 ozs. per man in 
others. There were places where even the 
half-pound ration was not reached. In some 
camps it was. made of wholesome wheatmeal 
and rye, while in others it was adulterated 
with potato flour and was exceedingly heavy, 
sour and almost uneatable. In numbers 
of camps the official ration was bread each 
morning with a bowl of coffee made from 
acorns and without sugar or milk. At noon the 
prisoners were given a dish of soup made from 
potato flour, horse beans, soya flour, sometimes 
with the addition of a powerfully smelling 
sun-dried fish, sometimes with a minimum of 
meat, sometimes none at all. In the evening 
more coffee or soup was served. 

Other camps did better than this. At Giessen 
the authorities printed a weekly bill of fare on 
the prisoners' letter paper. It was as follows : 



Breakfast : Coffee and sugar. gr. 

Coffee ... 5 

Sugar ... 20 

Dinner : Beef, potatoes and white cabbage. 

Beef 120 

Potatoes 750 

White cabbage 300 

Supper : Beans, starch meal, margarine and potatoes. 

Field beans 100 

Starch meal 20 

Margarine ... ... ... ... ... 20 

Potatoes 200 


Breakfast : Coffee and sugar. 

Coffee 5 

Sugar 20 

Dinner : Bacon, potatoes and beans. 

Bacon ... ... ... ... ... ... 30 

Potatoas 750 

Beans 150 

Supper : Herring and potatoes. 
One Herring 

Potatoes 600 


Breakfast : Coffee and sugar. 

Coffee 5 

Sugar 20 

Dinner : Pork, potatoes and cabbage. 

Pork 100 

Potatoes 750 

Cabbage ... 300 

Supper : Beans, starch meal, margarine and potatoes. 

Field beans 100 

Starch meal ... ... 20 

Margarine ... ... ... >> 20 

Potatoes ... ... .- 200 


Breakfast : Potato-flour, starch meal and margarine. 
Potato meal 
Starch meal ... ... ... 60 

Margarine ... ... ... '0 

Dinner : Potato meal, potatoes, meat and vegetables, gr. 

Meat 30 

Potato flour 100 

Potatoes 600 

Dried vegetables ... ... ... ... ... 40 

Supper : Rice, sugar and dried fruit. 

Rice 100 

Sugar 40 

Dried fruit ... ... ... ... ... ... 50 


Breakfast : Cocoa, sugar and starch meal. 

Cocoa ... ... ... ... ... ... 30 

Sugar 40 

Amylum ... ... ... ... ... ... 20 

Dinner : Salt meat, sauerkraut and potatoes. 

Salt meat 100 

Sauerkraut ... ... ... ... ... ... 250 

Potatoes 600 

Supper : Herring and potatoes. 

One herring ... ... ... ... ... 

Potatoes .' 600 


Breakfast : Coffee and sugar. 

Coffee 5 

Sugar ... ... ... ... ... ... 20 

Dinner : Salt fish, potatoes and soup flavouring. 

Salt fish 150 

Potatoes ... ... ... .'.. ... ... 750 

Soup flavouring ... ... ... ... ... 10 

Supper : Cheese and potatoes. 

Cheese 120 

Potatoes 600 


Breakfast : Potato-flour, starch meal and margarine. 

Potato-flour ... ... ... ... ... 30 

Starch meal ... ... ... ... ... 60 

Mar^iuim- ... ... ... ... ... ... ' 10 

Dinner ; Bacon, potatoes anil benns. 

Bacon 30 

Potatoes 750 

Beans ... ... ... ... ... ... 150 

Supper : Rice, Sugar and Dried Fruit. 

Dried fruit 50 

Rice 100 

Sugar 40 

























According to this remarkable list (100 grains 
3 - 5274 ozs.), the prisoners received 10i ozs. 
of bread a day, coffee with sugar for breakfast, 
a dinner on alternate days of ^ Ib. of meat or its 
equivalent, 1 Ib. 10 ozs. of potatoes, and 10i ozs. 
of cabbage, with smaller quantities of meat on 
other days ; and a supper of 3| ozs. of beans, 
7 ozs. of potatoes, starch meal and margarine' 
or equivalent substitutes. 

This reads excellently on paper. But the 
British prisoner in Germany received nothing 
like this, save in exceptional cases. The uni- 
versal complaint of men when they came back 
was of starvation when they had to depend on 
their official diet. Dr. Taylor, an American 

Punishment varied in the different camps. 
The slightest attempt at insubordination wiv* 
ruthlessly stamped out. Prisoners caught at 
tempting to escape were sentenced, to terms 
of imprisonment. The most humiliating 
thing to the British prisoners was the frequency 
and the degrading nature of the minor punish- 
ments. The German non-commissioned officer 
piaced over them, accustomed to rule his own 
men in many cases by occasional appeals to 
physical violence, did not see why he should 
not do the same with mere prisoners of war. 

There were beatings, official and unofficial. 
Sometimes rubber pipes were used, the men 
being held down by four guards over a barrel. 


'I: ,' 


medical man who examined officially the diet 
ot the civilian prisoners at Ruhleben, stated 
that some of the food was bad, and added, 
" The food provided and served during the 
week of the survey was not sufficient in any 
direction to provide nourishment for the 3,700 
men concerned, had they been entirely depen- 
dent on it." 

The British authorities recognized the insuffi- 
ciency of the German diet, and arranged for the 
regular dispatch of parcels from England. 
But men under punishment, or who had 
incurred in any way the displeasure of the 
Germans, were not allowed to receive these 
parcels. The lot of many other Allied prisoners 
who were dependent for many months on the 
German official supplies was often exceedingly 


One familiar German punishment was to tie 
men up to stakes or trees in the open for a certain 
number of hours. This might be compara- 
tively mild or exceedingly severe at the will of 
the authorities. Sack drill u ;is_ a disciplinary 
measure, a sack weighing about 30 pounds 
being fastened on a prisoner's back, and he 
being compelled to run around with it for four 
quarters of an hour successively, with intervals 
of two minutes for rest. Solitary confinement 
in a dark cell was commonly used. Punish- 
ments like these were inflicted for such minor 
breaches of discipline as smoking at wrong 
times or failing to salute properly. 

The most amazing tales of punishments camo 
from Russian, French, Belgian and Serbian 
prisoners. Many of them atter their return 
gave descriptions of the sand bath, a torture 



worthy of the Middle Ages. A man would be 
stripped and put in a, bath. A German N.C.O. 
would rub him html with a very hard brush and 
sand, hitting him with the brush until skin was 
rubbed away and blood drawn. 

Another form of torment was the Turkish 
bath. This was mainly applied to men who 
refused to do munition work. Various escaped 
French and Russian prisoners gave similar 
accounts of it. The man would be shut in a 
very hot room until at the point of fainting- 
Then he would be dragged out and thrown, 
with little or nothing on, into the open air, 
sometimes into the snow. This would be re- 
peated at intervals for some weeks. 

" Only after 45 days of this treatment," said 
two French infantrymen, Maurice and Emile 
Lebris, of Havre, who escaped in the summer 
of 1917, " were the men who refused to yield 
returned to camp. They came back only to die 
shortly afterwards of galloping consumption." 

In the French Government report on 
Prisoners of War, published in November, 1916, 
some ingenious forms of using the stake punish- 
ment were described. At Konigsbruck, the 
culprit, when tied to the tree or post, touched 
the ground only with his toes. At Stendal, 
the stake was not driven into the ground, 
but the prisoner had to carry it on his 
back, with his arms bound to it, the heavier 

end being uppermost. At Sennelager there 
u;i< a punishment called the "roof," when an 
offender was hoisted on a tarred roof and 
exposed there in the sun for hours. 

At first, military prisoners were in many 
camps kept in comparative idleness, having little 
to do save the regulation camp duties. This 
idleness was so severe a trial that many of them 
volunteered for farm and other work. Prisoners 
employed on farms had, in many cases, the most 
endurable lot of any. They had comparative 
freedom, they lived in the open air, they often 
established agreeable relations with the farmer's 
families, and while their lot was very far from 
one to be envied, it often presented a great con- 
trast to that of others still in the prison camps. 

The economic aspects of the employment of 
prisoner labour on the land were described by 
Mr. Gerard after his return. to America: 

The prisoners are leased out or sent out to farms very 
much as convicts are sent out in the south. For instance, 
the proprietor of a farm goes to the corps commander of 
his district and asks for a certain number of prisoners 
of war to be allotted to him. These are furnished, 
and he is given an allowance of 6.|d. per day to pay 
for their food, and he is required to pay them only 7d. 
per day for their labour. 

That has had. a very injurious result in prolonging 
the war, because the influential class in Germany is 
the class of county squires, or junkers. They live 
on the products of their estates. Since the war they 
have obtained for their produce five to six times more 
than in peane time and they have had the labour per- 






formed by prisoners- of war at 7d. a day. This has 
created a large class of people who are interested in 
continuing the war and a class that has most or all 
to do with the government of the country. One news- 
paper published an article calling attention to this fact. 
It was shortly afterwards suppressed for three days. 
That is their method of censorship. 

Gradually the German authorities came to 
see the possibilities of utilizing prisoner-of-war 
labour to the full. Men were drafted in ever 
increasing numbers to mines, factories and, 
finally, to the manufacture of munitions. No 
objection would have been raised to the 
Germans employing their prisoners under fair 
conditions in such work as road-making, 
timber felling, agriculture or the like. But 
the Hague regulations distinctly forbade the 
utilization of prisoner-of-war labour for the 
manufacture of weapons, munitions, etc. This 
provision was after a time openly violated. 
British, French, Russian and other prisoners 
were forced to construct trenches, to make 
munitions, and the like. The conditions of 
labour imposed upon them were of the 
severest kind. In many cases the men were 
housed miserably away from the prison camps : 
they were roused soon after four in the morning 
and were kept at work from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. 
Their conditions, the discipline over them, and 
their treatment made their lot worse than that 
of slaves. 

A new stage in punishments was begun. Tho 
crime of refusing to work was dealt with 
drastically. Two instructions . for the camp at 
Wittenberg were published in an official report 
in the summer of 1916. The first, signed by the 
Commandant, was posted up in the camp : 

Notice is hereby given that on refusal to work the 
guard have been directed in the future, if occasion 
arisfs, to make use of their weapons. 

The second was a paragraph in the instruc- 
tions given to the guards themselves : 

The guards are especially enjoined energetically to 
krrp the prisoners at work. Should the attitude of th e 
prisoner demand the use of the weapon, this should be 
employed without regard to roiisfqiioiines. In the first 
place, the bayonet only is to be employ d. 

That this was no empty threat ;i.s shown 
in various cases. Where the guards did not take 
immediate action other punishments were 
waiting. American official visitors to Dyrotz, 
in April, 1916, found that six men, including one 
corporal, had been returned from a working 
camp to the war camp charged with dilatory 
work. They had been placed in confinement 
for seven days, with bread and water except on 
the fourth day, when they had full camp ration. 
The men said, when questioned, that as far as 
they could see they were punished because they 
had been unable to do the nmount of work 
demanded namely, two men to unload a car 
in a day. 




Their conditions of confinement were thus 
described : 

The six prisoners were confined in a small building 
made of boards, the floor space approximately 8 ft. 
by 8 ft., with a gabled roof 10 ft. high. Over the door 
was a window, which had been closed with black tar 
paper. The only ventilation possible was through the 
cracks between the boards. When the Gorman N.C.O. 
was asked why tln> window was closed he replied that 
darkness was one of the specified conditions of the 
state of "arrest." It WHS then suggested thai tin- 
window could be darkened and still left open for ventila- 
tion. <inee otherwise proper ventilation could nut U' 
secured. No blankets or mamvsses wen 1 to he i'urni-hed 
save on the day on \vhieh the men received their full 
ration. The door was locked and a sentry pn.-ted 
outside the huilding. 

A number of prisoners, particularly British 
and French, refused to help at nil in the manu- 
facture of weapons that could he used against 
their own countrymen. Tin- Germans had one 
terrible weapon against them si ar\ a! ion. 
Their parcels from home were cut off. Their 
food supply was cut down. Vet many of them 
stood out and stood out successfully. 

At Krupp's there were, by the latter purl 
of less than I..VH) French prisoners a,! 
work and many hundreds of others of different 
nationalities. Some prisoners who escaped 
reported that various British prisoners had been 
forced to work with them. The beginning of 
the year 1917 saw a remarkable extension of 
this policy of exploiting prisoner labour. In 

addition to about 1,700 prisoners of various 
nationalities available in Germany alone, 
I lie Germans seized on the industrial population 
of Belgium and on numbers of Poles. Every- 
where, where they could be used, gangs of 
prisoners could be found. 

Early in 1917 there was an unfortunate 
dispute between the Allied and the German 
Governments over the question of working 
prisoners of war within the zone of fire. The 
German Government charged both the British 
and the French with doing this, declared that 
it had done nothing of the kind, and announce. I 
its intention of taking reprisals. Actually I lie 
British Government had moved its prisoners 
far back, and the I'Yencli Government had 
expressed its willingness to enter into an 
arrangement to do the same. Jn the month 
of .May Lord Newton, in a speech in the 
House of Lords, staled that, despite the 
denials of the German Government, several 
parties of British prisoners had been secretly 
kept for months within four or five miles of the 
trenches on the ( ierman front, and treated in 
an extremely harsh and cruel way. They 
were not allowed to write home, and until some 
of the men escaped no one in England knew of 
the existence of their camps. They were given 
barely sufficient food to keep body and soul 



together. They were robbed of their overcoats 
and never given even a change of clothes. 
They were brutally ill-used in many respects 
and a good many of them had died. 

Lord Newton's words were based on the 
statement of three men of the Dorsets who 
were captured in front of Beaumont Hamel 
on January 11, 1917, and who escaped in the 
following April. 

Their company raided a sector of the German 
line and captured two dug-outs. Soon after- 
wards it was surrounded by a considerable 
force of Germans, who seized about eighty 
rank and file and one officer. The men were 
taken to Cambrai. Here they found between 
300 and 400 other British prisoners, some 
captured as early as November, 1916. They 
were working behind the German lines at 
Trescault, and were absolutely isolated. They 
were allowed to write post cards, but these were 
evidently destroyed by their guards, for they 
never reached home. 

In mid-January, 100 prisoners were sent as 
a working party to Ervillers, where they were 
put to road-making six miles behind the 
German lines. They were housed in a large hut. 

" Our food," said two of the men who escaped, 
" consisted of a quarter loaf of German black 

bread (about ^ Ib.) a day, coffee without sugar 
and milk, in the early morning and again at 
4.30, and thin soup at mid-day. The German 
soldiers were given for their rations a whole 
loaf a day, good thick soup with beans and 
meat in it, coffee, jam and sugar, two cigars' 
and three cigarettes a day. Nobody here 
received any parcels or letters." They, of 
course, could not, for even the fact that they 
were alive had hot been notified. They stayed 
at Ervillers for four weeks. " We never saw 
the Commandant. A non-coinmissioned 
officer was in charge of us." 

After a month they were sent to Sauchy- 
Lestree, about 12 miles beliind the lines. 
There were about 80 or 90 now the rest had 
fallen ill. " They had dysentery from eating 
bad swedes, which they had picked up in the 
fields, and they were also suffering from 

Here the same farce of writing post cards 
that were never delivered was repeated. Men 
who had written at intervals during four months 
had waited vainly for replies. Their isolation 
can be imagined. Parcels, food, clothing, 
books, all the glimpses of relief that reach most 
prisoners, were denied them. Their friends at 
home were left to believe them dead. 




" We were never given any clothes, and had 
to work, live and sleep in the same garments." 
said the men. " We were not even given a 
shirt. We arrived back in the British lines in 
the same uniforms in which we were captured, 
and in which we had worked in all weathers, 
rain and sun. There were no means of drying 
them, and when we got wet we had to sleep in 
our wet things. '' 

In time those who were left there were only 
60 now were sent to Sauchy-Gauchy. Hard 
work, insufficient food and exposure had 

Germany told how they had seen their meu 
brought back from the prison camps on the 
western front. Then some men who got away 
from Hameln told how then- had arrived tln-n- 
during March 30 British soldiers all so 
weak that they had to be carried to the camp 
hospital. Their appearance caused conster- 
nation among the prisoners already there. 
They were living skeletons. They ravenously 
clutched at food offered them. 

" I never saw men look so bad as they did. 
even after they had been in hospital," said one 


removed nearly half. At Sauchy-Gauchy food 
and treatment showed some improvement. 
The men were housed in a disused brick kiln. 

Three men saw a chance for liberty. One 
night they dropped outside the kiln, slipped 
past the sentries, and made westwards, guided 
by the flash of the British guns. They crossed 
the German trenches to the British lines, 
where they were received by the Australians. 
The corporal, who weighed thirteen stone at 
the time he was captured, weighed only eight 
stone when he got back. And he had to be 
carried in a stretcher before the Medical Board. 

Other prisoners escaping from camps in 

British private who escaped from this district 
in May, 1917. " We fellows could hardly eat 
our own food when we saw them.' 1 

In time they recovered sufficiently to tell 
their experiences. Some had b:>en captured on 
the Soiume in July, l!M(i. Instead of being 
sent to Germany they were kept working 
immediately behind the line, in the neighbour- 
hood of Cambrai. They declared that they 
had been starved and beaten. Several had 
been wounded by shell fire from our own guns. 
Finally they became so ill that they were s<>nt 
to Germany. They said that they had left 
numbers of our own men at or near Cambrai 



and Lille. They had heard nothing from home, 
for only one of them had been reported as 
" prisoner of war." 

A Canadian sergeant who was there thus 
described the men : 

They arrived in such a weak condition that they had 
to be carried from the station to the hospital, and I 
myself helped to carry ten of them. They were in a 
terrible state, human skeletons and absolutely lousy, 
and not one of them could walk. 

They had been given no clothes and almost no food 
in France. They were kept in hospital for some time 
when they came to us, but even when they left hospital 
I never saw such-looking people. They fell upon any 
food they could get. They were made to start working 
at Hameln long before they were fit. 

While working behind the lines around Cambrai, 
they had been drafted about to several camps, and all 
the while had received scarcely enough food to keep 
body and soul together. Further, they had been 
subjected to brutal treatment, being flogged by their 

A private in the Gordons who escaped from 
Westerholt in May said that among the 
prisoners brought into that camp was a 
private in the Lancashire Fusiliers, one of the 
160 men captured in October, 1916. They 
had been kept at work behind the lines in 
France. Out of 160 men taken, .40 died by 
January. The Fusilier broke down and was 
sent into Germany. 

" I was first taken to Lille," said the Fusilier, 
" and made to work about four miles behind 
the German lines, between the German big 
guns and the front. We were very badly 
treated, knocked about by guards, and kept in 
sheds with only a little straw on the floor. We 
had to work all day at making roads, unloading 
stores, and generally charing up. The men 
were dying at the rate of four a day." 

When some of our men, after being broken 
down in health by hardships behind the front 
lines, were sent back to Minden Hospital, 
their condition excited pity even among the 
Germans there. One German interpreter said 
to them that, having been so badly treated 
in France, they would be allowed to write two 
letters and two post cards saying that they 
were prisoners and where they were. The other 
prisoners made a collection of food for them. 

Immediately these facts became known to 
the authorities the strongest possible represen- 
tations were made, and early in June Mr. Hope 
was able to announce in the House of Commons 
that an arrangement had been arrived at with 
the German Government for the withdrawal of 
British prisoners 30 kilometers behind the 
firing line. Two thousand British prisoners 
of war had already been withdrawn. 

[Elliott & Fry. 


Of the Prisoners of War Department of the 
Foreign Office. 

Uneasiness over the treatment of prisoners 
aroused by accounts which reached England 
of the concealment of men on the Western 
Front was greatly intensified by a statement 
at the end of May, 1917, that the Kaiser, who 
had been visiting the Arras Front, had told his 
soldiers that they were to hate the British as 
heartily as their capacity for righteous wrath 
would permit, and that in future no prisoners 
were to be taken nor any mercy shown. 
Prisoners who might be taken were to be 
treated with the utmost severity. 

How faithfully the Kaiser's troops obeyed 
these instructions was shown by an account 
given by two Australians captured in the 
Hindenburg line after a big attack on April 11. 
Their story was recorded by Captain C. E. \V. 
Bean, official Press correspondent with the 
Australian forces m France. A thousand 
Australians were captured, cut off by German 
machine guns. They were given verv little 
food, treated with harshness, and even many 
badly wounded men were forced to set out 
on the march to Germany. On the third day 

they were pinched for hunger by this time. And 
po.-i.-ilily the villagers on their route could see it. 1'or 
in every little French village through which they pn--i-d 
the- villagers came out of the cottages and tried In gal 
a loaf of bread through to them, or at least a drink of 
water. The Austral inns were marching, roughly in 
fours, with two closely set lines of guards walking 



out-iide them. Tin--*- men wen* taken from a resting 
battalion dt" a Prussian Guard division, and their orders 
t')eur!\ \MTC tn -top any _ food or drink reaching these 
famisliod Australian.-. 

A;- the column reached the village the French inhabi- 
tants would throng the streets watching it pass. " The 
Frencli would pve you anything they had," one of the 
men said. A little ^irl ran out from a cottage with 
bread. The guard smacked her in the face. The bread 
they used to throw into the gutter. A Frenchman 
tried to pive the Australians a bucket of water to drink. 


The guard upset the water and threw the pail over tin- 
man. A woman tried to give them bread. A Prussian 
soldier hit her in the face and knocked her down. In 
one place a French priest edged up with a loaf under 
his arm to pass it to our men. A German soldier 
was watching him out of the corner of his eye. An old 
woman, seeing this, tugged the priest back by his clothes. 
And this sort of scene was repeated until the Australians, 
however hungry or thirsty, could not bear to bring 
such treatment on the French for their kindness, but 
learned to shake their heads when offered food or 

Two days later they were moved by train 
to Lille. A woman who threw them packets 
of cigarettes WHS arrest i-d by a military police- 
man. The men were divided into parties of 
110 each, and each party was marched into a 
separate room in the upper storey of an old 
green fort. 

For five nights and six days 110 Australians lived 
in the room where the escaped men were. It is the 
first time in our country's history that Australian.-- have 
ever suffered organized torture. The room was about 
50 ft. by 2(1 ft. The floor was tiled. For a few minutes 
each day the men were allowed into the yard for exercise. 
Their only convenience for all sanitary purposes was one 
barrel, which stood in the corner, uncovered. The 
windows had to be shut, for they slept on the tiled floor 

without a blanket, though .snow fell at night, and 
their food was too little to keep life together. They 
were given one-seventh of a loaf of bread that is. mm 
slice per man with some fermented mangolds each 
day, with one cup of coffee at night and one in the 
morning. \Vheit the man who took the barrel each 
day downstairs to clean it asked for a glass of water 
the guard would not allow it. The cook refused a mark 
offered for a little bread. They were not once allowed to 
wash until the last day, when they cleaned up to leave. 
At the end of it a German corporal came into the 
room. He asked them if they knew what they were 
there for. They said, "No." He said, "You may 
write and tell your people and your Government all 
about it just what has happened and say that 
you are here as a punishment. Seven weeks ago the 
German Government wrote to the British Govern- 
ment about the employment of prisoners near the line, 
and they have not yet received an answer." The Aus- 
tralians told him it was a lie there was not a German 
prisoner within 20 or 30 kilometres of the line. These 
men had passed hundreds of times in our back areas 
companies of fat, well-clothed, happy-looking Germans 
20 miles behind the British line, with Australians and 
Tommies alike giving them cigarettes, and only the 
French people, whose homes they have ravaged, showing 
the least resentment. But they knew their prqtest 
could make no difference. 

On this day 240 of the Australians were- 
sent by train to work on a dump close behind 
the front. Here they were put in a farm 
near a double company of English and Scotch 
troops and set to work unloading stores. Their 
food was a daily ration of one-third of a loaf, 
coffee before they left in the morning, and a 
midday stew of horseflesh and a little barley. 
The prisoners were driven to beg their guards 
to let them cut any sort of grass that could be 
eaten even dandelions, stinging nettles and 
rape. They picked up potato pee linns which 
the Germans threw out. On this stuff the men 
became so weak that, at the time the two 
escaped, they were falling at the rate of four a 

Even while conditions in many of the camp* 
in Germany itself were beginning to improve, 
a new problem arose. Detachments of men 
were picked out from different districts in the 
spring of l!)lli and dispatched to the Eastern 
Front. Here for a time they were lost to sight. 

Many of the men were sent to Li ban. where 
they were put under harsh discipline. They 
at first received no parcels, and were not 
allowed to purchase food, and the food supplied 
to them was barely enough to sustain life. 
The port of Libau itself was a centre of misery. 
The civil population were starving and in 
rags. According to statements reaching Eng- 
land, the very women of the place were com- 
pelled by the German authorities to work at 
such tasks as coaling, loading ships, and the- 



like. The prisoners tried sometimes to buy a 
little food from them. Occasionally, despite 
the rules, a man here and there managed to 
purchase a loaf of black bread, the usual price 
being three marks. The bread was so coarse 
and sour that it brought on dysentery. 

The prisoners were housed in a building 
overlooking the harbour. They slept on bare 
boards. They were roused at four in the 
morning, started work at five, and were not 
back until six at night. Their labour was of 
the heaviest kind, and they were kept at it 
with remorseless severity. Punishments were 
frequent and heavy. Men were strung up by 
the wrists or sent to solitary confinement on 
any excuse. It was not uncommon to have 
20 men tied to stakes at the same time. 
There were four cells which the men themselves 
described as' " absolutely Black Holes of 

After six weeks parcels from home began to 
arrive. Most of these had been so delayed on 
the way that their bread and other perishable 
contents were uneatable. Naturally there 
was much illness, which was aggravated by 
the damp, raw and uncertain nature of the 
Baltic climate. The men looked back on their 
old life in camps such as Doberitz a.nd Spandau 

as days of luxury and ease. They maintained 
their spirits in wonderful fashion. From their 
windows they could see, time after time, the 
German Fleet go out ; then they would watch 
for its return. When on one occasion it came 
back with several of the ships badly damaged 
the prisoners cheered each other with the news 
that we had won. They counted the funerals 
of the sailors over 50 in three days. "This 
was our one recreation," said one of them 

A worse fate than confinement at Libau was 
in store for many of the prisoners. In Feb- 
ruary, 1917, 500 men were picked out and 
were told that they were to be sent to th& 
Russian firing line as a reprisal for the British 
sending German prisoners to their front in 
France. The men were marched some distance 
through deep snow. Their new home was a 
big tent, slightly wanned by some small stoves. 

Here the men lived together through the 
rigours of a Russian winter. Disciplinary 
measures against them were intensified. Their 
"food was reduced to two meals a day, acorn 
coffee and black bread in the morning, and a 
thin soup at night. No parcels reached them. 
They were forbidden to smoke, even though- 
they had tobacco. Each day they were marched 




out to tlif German trendies, find kept working 
for 10 hour.* under Russian shell-tire. They 
had no change of clothing : some of them had 
no blankets ; some had lost their kits on the 

Their chief sufferings were from cold and 
starvation. There were 35 degrees of frost, 
and men were working up to their knees in 
snow. By early in April over 200 of the 500 
had been sent to hospital badly frostbitten. A 
number died. Some of the letters sent home 
by these men, passed by the German censor, 
made as pitiful reading as anything in this war. 

" The men are so frostbitten here, it is pitiful 
to see," wrote one. " Tell mother and father 
not to worry," wrote one of the Royal Naval 
Division. " If my time comes it comes. The 
cold alone is nearly enough to kill one. My 
hands are still too frozen to write well, but 
this is the first time they have been able to 
write at all." " We are suffering terribly 
here," wrote a Coldstream Guardsman to his 
wife. " We are not getting any letters or 
parcels from home, and continually (word 
deleted by censor) by the cold, as the weather 
has been intensely cold, hard frost, snow 
storms. The discipline is very strict and the 
punishments heavy, and it is just an awful and 
most miserable existence. We can do nothing 
at this end, but you in England must com*? 

quickly to our rescue. After nearly three 
\CMI-S of suffering and exile this punishment 
becomes almost unbearable. Up at 4 a.m., 
coffee at 4.4.">. We work in the trenches for 
ten hours under shell-fire, and get back to camp 
at 5 p.m., when soup is served out, but it is not 
enough or very nourishing. Half a loaf of 
bread a day. So you can guess we are (word 
deleted by censor). Keep smiling ! Hope it 
will not be long before we meet again." 

" Honestly, Kit," wrote another to his wife, 
" I thought I was going mad ! We have come 
through a terrible ordeal, and I am, and always 
will be, thankful to God for bringing me 
through it." 

Of the British prisoners captured outside the 
European fighting area, those in South-West 
Africa and in Mesopotamia aroused most atten- 
tion. The British subjects who were seized by 
the Germans in South-West Africa, subse- 
quently to be released by General Smuts's 
Army, were exposed in most cases to every 
possible humiliation. The Germans evidently 
purposed to lower their prestige in any way 
they could in the eyes of the natives. Accord- 
ingly they treated them like slaves, inflicting 
in addition physical hardships which would 
have wrecked any but the hardiest constitu- 

The report of an Official Commission of En- 




quiry into the atrocities against British prisoners 
in German South-West Africa was published at 
Cape Town, in April, 1916. This report showed 
that our prisoners were persistently starved 
and that there was a complete lack of organiza- 
tion or central control. 

When- British officers complained to the 
Governor, Dr. Seitz, about their rations he told 
them that they should be most thankful for 
what they got. " We did not invite you to 
this country. You invaded the country and 
fought us with natives," he added. 

The food allowances of the British officers 
were cut down as a disciplinary measure after 
the escape of a couple of their number. The 
rat ions of the non-commissioned officers and 
men were reduced almost to starvation point and 
were only half those issued to the German 
troops. Men sat in queues waiting an oppor- 
tunity to drink the blood of slaughtered oxen, 
and they boiled the soft part of the hides of 
cattle in order to extract nutriment. They 
were not supplied with sufficient clothing. 

Captain Geary, who was taken prisoner at 
Santfontein, was placed in solitary confinement 
for six and a half months in a cell, thirteen feet 
by seven feet, infested with bugs and in a 
shocking sanitary condition. He was treated 
harshly and callously. His food was coarse 
and insufficient and he was only allowed a short 
period of exercise each day with convicted 
criminals. No charge was laid against him 
and his protests were unheeded. Captain 
Munro was treated similarly to Captain Geary, 
but his detention was only for 24 days. 

The political prisoners confined in Windhuk 
were mostly British. They were obliged to 
sleep ten in a small cell. The door was locked 
nightly and was not opened in any circum- 
stances for 12 hours. There was considerable 
dysentery amongst the prisoners and the 
conditions were most disgusting. 

When these facts became known a loud 
outcry was raised in South Africa for the 
puiiisliment of the guilty German officers. 
General Botha, however, announced that he 
had been in communication with the Imperial 
Government on the matter and the Government 
assumed the attitude that it would not take 
revenge, although it naturally condemned in the 
strongest possible manner the actions disclosed 
in the Report. 

Much concern was felt in England over the 
fate of the British prisoners captured by the 
Turks at Kut-el-Amara, and in other Mesopo- 

tamian operations. The majority of theso 
were Indian troops ; but in addition to the 
Indians there were, within the Turkish Empire, 
fully 2,555 white men kept as prisoners. By 
the beginnirg of 1917, 483 had died in captivity, 
a fact which, in itself, is eloquent. 

The Turks devoted some attention to the 
care of the British officers. General Townshond 



In coat and boots provided by the Australian 

Comforts Fund. 

in particular, was treated with great distinction. 
The troops suffered heavily, especially imme- 
diately after their capture. They had been 
reduced to a very low state, physically, during 
the long siege. Nearly all of them were in 
poor condition, merely skin and bone. After 
the surrender they were marched across parts 
of Mesopotamia, sometimes many hundred 
miles, often under very trying conditions. 
They lost heavily during these marches, and 



-* -v 


some men were reduced to eat grass. Once 

they reached their different destinations, how- 
ever, their treatment was generally better. 
They were able, in many cases, to buy food from 
the natives if they had money. Prisoner after 
prisoner wrote that he was comfortable and 
treated with kindness. " We are allowed 
money and parcels," wrote one sergeant to his 
brother; "no papers. We are in a beautiful 
place, a lovely climate and they are doing 
everything they can to make us comfortable." 
This letter was typical of others. 

There is no doubt but that some of the 
prisoners suffered great hardships, particularly 
sick men, from lack of medical comforts. 
Others found it hard to adapt themselves to 
Turkish conditions. 

In June, 1916, alarmist reports came to 
England from Cairo that the British prisoners 
in Turkey were being badly treated. One 
man declared that he saw 150 prisoners at 
K.itnin, in Northern Syria, in a most deplor- 
able condition. Their only ration was soup. 
Another man. who was for some time near the 
prisoners of war camp in the Taurus, said that 
more than half the men captured at Kut were 
dead. There were many complaints of lack of 
hospital treatment. 

The question of how l>est to help our prisoners 
aroused from the first the close attention of 
the British Government. Possible aid was 
naturally of two kinds, the immediate relief of 
pressing personal needs and diplomatic or 

military actionsuch as representations to 
Germany through neutral Powers, special 
agreements with the enemy, publicity given to 
the wrongs of prisoners, and reprisals against 
German subjects in our hands. 

In order to relieve immediate necessities a 
number of Prisoners of War Societies was 
formed. Some of them were regimental, for 
men of a particular section of the Army, some 
were territorial, as for Kent or Surrey, and 
some were general. A Central Prisoners of 
War Help Committee was established in 
London. This, as far as possible coordinated 
the work of the different organizations, tried 
to prevent overlapping, and ntade itself a 
headquarters of information and help for the 
prisoners. It worked in close conjunction with 
the Swiss Red Cross. This stage of the organi- 
zation of relief was described in Chapter CII. 

The Swiss " Bureau dr Srronrs uux Prisoii- 
jiicrs de Guerre " cooperated with all the 
belligerent Powers in a way worthy of the most 
splendid traditions of that great body. The 
British section did a very extensive work in the 
supply of bread and other foodstuffs to prisoners. 

Much invaluable service was done by the 
numerous voluntary committees in the United 
Kingdom, and the condition of the prisoners 
during the first two years of the war would 
have been almost unendurable but for tln-ir 
aid. It became evident in time, however, that 
further organization was necessary. The 
Central Committee in London had no power to 
compel obedience. There was a vast amount 



of overlapping. Some prisoners received par- 
cels -from many sources, far more than they 
could use. Others received scarcely any, and 
a few none. Many privately -sent parcels were 
badly packed, wrongly addressed, and stocked 
with perishable goods that ought never to have 
been sent. German agents used the plan of 
free dispatch of parcels to send concealed 
information. Injudicious friends tried to 
smuggle forbidden articles, such as newspapers, 
to prisoners, with the result that sometimes 
whole batches of supplies were held up. 

In September, 1916, the War Office and 
Foreign Office arranged that the Joint War 
. Committee of the British Red Cross Society 
and the Order of St. John should take over all 
questions relating to the welfare of British 
prisoners, both civilian and military. A special 
committee was formed, under the title of the 
Central Prisoners of War Committee, with Sir 
Starr Jameson as Chairman, supported by Sir 
William Garstin, the Hon. W. H. Goschen, 
Mr. W. E. Hume- Williams, K.C., M.P., General 
Sir Charles M. Clarke, Mr. N. E. Waterhouse, 
Mr. Rowland Berkeley, and Mr. P. D. Agnew, 
the last being managing director. 

This Committee undertook to furnish every 
British and Indian Prisoner of War in Germany, 

Austria, Turkey and Bulgaria, whether military 
or civil, with a supply of food and clothing 
sufficient for his needs, from December 1, 1916, 
onwards until the end of the war. It was 
given, what the former committee lacked, 
authority. The different care committees and 
regimental associations came to a certain extent 
under its direction, inasmuch as their parcels 
could not be sent without its approval, except 
to officers. 

The Central Committee aimed at preserving 
the local enthusiasm of the numerous Prisoners 
of War organizations throughout the country, 
and in particular it desired to retain the gifts 
and personal work of the numbers of men and 
women who had adopted prisoners, and who 
had pledged themselves to see after their com- 
fort. It determined, however, to abolish 
entirely the old system of private parcels, 
except for officers. Regulations were issued 
that no post office would handle a parcel for 
a prisoner of war unless that parcel had a 
special label on it issued by the Central Prisoners 
ot War Committee. This label was only served 
out by 'the Committee to local associations 
which had received its permission to dispatch 
parcels. Each one of the workers engaged in 
packing or dispatching at these local associations 




had his or her record examined. The Central 
Committee virtually entered into a pledge that 
nothing should be sent through in the parcels 
except articles in keeping with the regulations 
laid down by the German Government. A 
number of standard parcels were planned, and 
planned on a very liberal scale, and the amount 
of food and clothing to be supplied to each 
prisoner as supplementary to his German 
r.itions was ample. 

There came many protests, however, from 
the friends and relatives of prisoners against 
the prohibition of private parcels. The pro- 
hibition was consequently modified to some 
extent, people being permitted to dispatch 
goods from certain well-known shops and stores. 

In addition to its services for the supply of 
food and clothing the Committee further had a 
Record Department where an account was kept 
of the whereabouts and state of all British 
prisoners of war. This information was care- 
fully collected from various sources, such as 
the German Red Cross list of prisoners, War 
Office Regimental Lists, and the like. The 
Committee undertook all the numerous neces- 
sary miscellaneous ' services required, such as 
meeting, and providing temporary accom- 
modation for, repatriated men and women, 
the giving of information to relatives and the 
like. Its plans for prisoners showed a thorough- 
ness beyond anything hitherto attempted. It 
came in for a certain amount of criticism, but 
the general opinion of those most capable of 
forming a judgment was that in establishing it 
and in giving it power to organize relief the 
British Government had acted on the right lines. 

The diplomatic side of work for the relief 
of prisoners of war received at times some un- 
favourable comment. The British Government 
recognized from the beginning its duty to do 
everything possible to help prisoners of war by 
any means in its power. Some things were 
done promptly and well. But other things 
were dealt with in a way that suggested an 
inability on the part of the authorities to decide 
on. and, regardless of difficulties, to keep to, 
a fixed policy. 

One failure of the authorities was to utilize 
to the full the sympathetic influence of neutral 
nations. A certain timidity was revealed from 
the beginning in giving publicity to details 
about the sufferings of our prisoners. Care 
was, however, taken to secure these details. 
Lord Newton time after time in the House of 
Lords told something of what was learned. 

A Record Committee, to which reference has 
been made earlier in this chapter, was appointed 
by Sir John Simon, in September, 1915, to 
collect, verify, and record information as to the 
treatment of British subjects, military and 
civil, who had been prisoners in the hands of 
the enemy. Its full title was " The Govern- 
ment Committee on the Treatment by the 
Enemy of British Prisoners of War." Mr. 
Justice Younger was the chairman, supported 
by a strong Committee, including representatives 
of the War Office, Homo Office and Foreign 
Office, and Mrs. Darley Livingstone was Hon. 
Secretary. This Committee did its work 
with great thoroughness, carefully cross- 
examining every returned man. Save, how- 
ever, in a few cases, notably in the Reports on 
Wittenberg and Gardelegen, the authorities 
failed to use this information as it might well 
have been used as a powerful lever to bring the 
influence of the world against the German 
policy of cruelty towards the helpless men in its 
power. Yet here was a case where systematic 
and continuous publicity could scarcely have 
failed to render great services in checking 
German abuses and in fostering those influences 
which undoubtedly existed in Germany favour- 
ing the more humane treatment of the men. 

Most valuable work for the prisoners was 
accomplished, as has already been said, by 
Mr. Gerard. His task was later, after he left 
Berlin, taken over by the Dutch Minister. It 
was through Mr. Gerard that a mutual agree- 
ment was arrived at between the British and the 
German Governments to repatriate permanently 
disabled prisoners. The Dutch Red Cross 
cooperated very actively in this. Numbers of 
fighting men who had lost limbs or were hope- 
lessly invalided were sent home. The appear- 
ance of our own men when they came among us 
was in many cases the most conclusive proof 
of the horrors they had endured. Some of 
them had so changed that their wives could not 
at first recognize them. 

Another great Mage in securing better treat- 
ment for the most helpless of the prisoners 
was reached by the agreement in May, 1 !)!<, 
that British and German wounded mid invalided 
combatant prisoners of war should be trans- 
ferred to Switzerland; In this case we were 
following a precedent set by our ally, France. 
By agreement between France and Germany 
one hundred consumptive prisoners of each 
country were sent to Switzerland, and these 
were followed by many others, numbering in 



Chairman of the Central Prisoners of War Committee. 

all 1.247 within a few weeks. The first British 
party, numbering between three and four 
hundred, arrived in Switzerland on May 11. 
Other parties soon followed. Our men were wel- 
comed by the Swiss in the warmest possible 
fashion. "It is difficult to write calmly 
about it," wrote Mr. Grant Duff, the British 
Minister, " for the simple reason that I have 
never before in my life seen such a welcome 
accorded to anyone, although for the 
last 28 years I have been present at 

every kind of function in half the capitals of 

Our men were bound for Chateau d'Oex. 
The day before they arrived the Prefect issued 
a notice that everyone was to wear his best 
clothes : every house was hung with flowers 
and flags and garlands stretched across the 

Our men were astounded at the welcome. 
Many of them were crying like children ; a few 
fainted from emotion. As one private said to 



the British Minister, "God bless you, sir; it's 
like dropping right into 'eaven from 'ell." 

The British Government seemed unable to 
come to a fixed resolution over the question of 
reprisals for German outrages against British 
prisoners. A somewhat unfortunate and ill- 
considered attempt to impose special treatment 
on German submarine officers early in the 
war had brought about quick counter action 
in Germany and was abandoned. The pro- 
posal that German prisoners in our hands 
should be treated in similar fashion to our 
prisoners by the Germans was regarded by 
many with great dislike. The French Govern- 
ment openly adopted this policy. German 
prisoners in France were to be treated in the 
same way. put to the same labour, and fed in 
the same way as French prisoners in Germany. 

Chairman of the French Red Cross Committee. 

In some cases definite improvements in the 
treatment of the French prisoners wen- secured 
by this. But the general feeling in England 
was that even the policy of outrage and in- 
humanity in Germany would not justify the 
British authorities in taking harsh measures 
against rn<-iii\ .-ul>jn-ts in our hands. 

The policy of the British Army towards its 
prisoners was one of great liberality. Officers 
and men were well fed, well housed, and well 
cared for. This was the opinion, not only of 

British observers, but of neutral visitors, 
officials and others who were given every 
facility to observe the British methods. 

The condition of the men in captivity created 
profound pity among all classes. Various 


Honorary Secretary of the Government Com- 
mittee on the Treatment of Prisoners of War. 

proposals were made to benefit them. One 
suggestion, which was strongly backed, was 
that all men should be released by mutual 
agreement after they had been prisoners of 
war for eighteen months. On April 21, 1917, 
the British Government proposed to the 
German that all prisoners of war who had 
been over two years in captivity should be 
released. But up to the middle of June the 
British Government was still awaiting a satis- 
factory reply. Another proposal was for the 
exchange of civilian interned prisoners. 

The treatment of the British prisoners on 
the Eastern Front can perhaps be better under- 
stood when it is realized how the Germans 
habitually treated the Russians captured there. 
It became evident early in the war that Russian 
prisoners were invariably handled in the 
roughest possible fashion ; that they were 
neglected and starved even more than other 
Allied prisoners, and that they were punished 
with a mercilessness surpassing anything 
hitherto known. 

British and French prisoners returning from 



mixed camps expressed the utmost pity for 
the Russians, and told incidents that they 
themselves -had witnessed which indicated 
a very bad condition of things. Russian 
prisoners who escaped into Holland or back into 


Chairman of the Prisoners Sub-Committee of the 
Serbian Relief Fund. 

Russia told in matter-of-fact fashion tales of 
torture that would have been absolutely 
incredible had they not been supported by 
much corroborative evidence. " I have not 
seen a single escaped Russian prisoner of 
whom I have asked the question who has not 
been struck by the Germans," wrote one relief 
agent whose business it was to examine these 
prisoners. Beating was one of the least forms 
of torment. 

In the winter of 1916 the German authorities 
began an aggravated campaign against the 
Russian prisoners, carried on clearly for the 
deliberate purpose of forcing the men to enlist 
in the German Army or to undertake munition 
work. A certain number, particularly Poles, 
gave way and joined the Germans. Large 
numbers of men, despite strong opposition, 
were compelled by starvation and torture to 
undertake war work. 

The prisoners were divided according to 
their different provinces and systematic work 
was begun to win them over. Thus the men 

of Ukraine were urged to sign papers pledging 
themselves to support the separation of the 
Ukraine from Russia. Seeing that very few 
of these men could read it is difficult to discover 
why the Germans should value their signatures 
or marks in place of signatures. 

Poles were the subjects of aspecial propaganda 
to induce them to throw off all adherence to 
Russia. " Sign," the men were told, " and 
you will have plenty of food, plenty of clothes, 
a good bed, and good wages. You will be 
free to go about the town, and we will teach 
you to read and write." Those who would not 
sign were punished. 

The following brief accounts given by escaped 
Russian prisoners, each made independently 
of the others, tell their own tale. Even allow- 
ing for exaggeration, conscious or uncon- 
scious, in some cases, it is scarcely possible 
to believe that men drawn from different 

Chairman of the Canadian Prisoners Fund. 

camps should all agree, without any possi- 
bility of having got together, to tell the same 
kind of tale about their treatment. The few 
records given here are only examples of hun- 
dreds of others. The names and regiments of 
the men cannot be given for obvious reasons. 

1. This man was sent from Minister Camp, 
to the Iron Works He declares that those who 
objected to work had hot irons placed on their 

2. Did field work at Wanne. Said that 



prisoners were beaten even if they were ill. 
One form of punishment was to pour cold 
water over them in the morning, after which 
they would be made to sit -on their hauncln-; 
for hours. 

3. This man was sent to Hermenstein and 
Friedrichsfeld. At first he did no work. Then 
he was sent to Miinster II., and from there to 
a mine. Here, on refusing to work, he and 
twenty other men were severely beaten and 
made to stand upright for 26 hours. On the 
second day they were stripped of all their 
clothing but their shirts. They were allowed 
no food or drink and finally had to give in. 

4. " After my refusal to work in the mines 
the Germans put me in the steaming room 
where the temperature is very high and kept 
me there for several hours. After that I was 
put in a cold cellar." 

5. " The conditions of our life in Branden- 
burg were horrible. The food was insufficient 
and very bad ; the punishments, the cold, the 
heavy work all that told on us, and in three 
months 800 prisoners died in that camp out 
of the original 10,0^0." 

6. This man was a non-commissioned officer. 
" Fail'ng to find voluntary workers the Germans 
began to put some of us into separate barracks, 
gave us poorer food than the others and did not 
allow us to receive help from outside. Our 
boots were taken from us and we were given 
wooden shoes. We were then told that we 
were to be treated as ordinary privates. Next 

morning we were driven out to worn. \Ve 
decided to refuse. The German guards un- 
sheathed their swords and began beating 
every one of us. Some of us suffered severely. 
I ... was one of them. The guards struck 
me about a hundred times, after which my 
shoulder blades were quite swollen, also my 
left arm above the elbow. But notwithstand- 
ing these tortures I stood at attention. The 
officer then jumped up and h'mself struck me 
several times with Iv's sword, wounded me on 
the head and left arm. The doctor stop[K)d 
the bleeding and declared me fit for work. I 
was ordered to stand at attention until dark, 
without food. Th's is how I was forced to 
work in sugar and iron factories." 

The accounts of the escaped prisoners show 
that after they were made to work at the 
different factories iron discipline was employed 
to get the utmost out of them. Those sent to 
Krupp's works at Essen were warned that 
whoever refused to obey would be punished 
by imprisonment of from four to ten years in 
a fortress. 

Wounded men were put at work alongside 
the hale. A prisoner who escaped from 
an iron factory at Aix-la-Chapelle told ho\v 
one of his party had been wounded in the 
left shoulder, and the wound was unhealed. 
The foreman in the foundry saw that he was 
unfit for work and sent him back to the barracks 
with a guard. A German lieutenant examined 
him there and asked him, through an interpreter 






why he was not at work. " I am ill," said the 
prisoner. Thereupon the officer had him un- 
dressed and ordered him to be drenched with 
cold water this was late in October and then 
sent him back. There he was starved, beaten, 
bleeding at the lungs and scarcely able to 
stand, when his comrade escaped. 

Escaped prisoners agreed in declaring that 
the worst conditions of all were in industrial 
working camps and factories, especially those 
in Belgium. The men who were sent to work 
on the land were generally the most fortunate. 
In some districts, however, even the farming 
hands had a very hard time. At Altdam 
prisoners were harnessed to the farming 
machinery, six men to a harrow and twelve 
to a plough, thus replacing one and two horses. 
A large number of the prisoners who, in the 
winter of 1916 were exchanged with Russians 
as being hopelessly unfit, had been crippled, 
not on the battlefield, but during their imprison- 
ment in Germany. " The prisoners are 
forced to do work they have never done before, 
such as mining, fed on starvation rations and 
made to work for long hours," wrote one 
Russian authority. " The pay is usually Sid. 
a day, for which they cannot buy food, n,s 
there is none or hardly any to be had at the 
canteens. They all suffer very much from 
lack of sugar and fat stuffs, which they are not 
given at all. > Jleat, of course, they never see. 
When their health fails, no attention is paid 
to it and they are forced by blows to go on 

working till they literally drop and are taken 
away to hospital. When they are wounded 
accidentally during the work, often no care 
is taken of the wound, so that it gets bad, and 
by the time they are taksn to hospital an 
amputation has to be performed ; that is 
why there are so many cripples amongst the 
exchanged prisoners that were not incapacitated 
at the front." 

The most convincing proof of the severity 
with which the Russian prisoners w-T3 treated 
was found in the rapidly growing death roll. 
During the winter of 1916 and the spring 
and summer of 1917 returns from many of 
the leading camps whsre the Russians were 
confined showed ever-increasing numbers of 
deaths, particularly from tuberculosis. The 
Russians had a grim saying : " The Germans 
captured two millions of us. Otw million are 
now dead." 

The great distress amongst the Russians led 
to the formation in England of a Russian 
Prisoners of War Committee, presided over 
by Countess Benckendorf, wife of the Russian 
Ambassad >r. This Committee raised upward 
of 100,000 from the British public up to the 
summer of 1917. This entire sum was used 
for the direct benefit of the Russian prisoners. 
An Allied soldier who returned to England 
from captivity in 1916 went to the Russian 
authorities to relate what he had seen. He 
said that about two thousand Russian prisoners 
were taken from the camp to a factory, and 


\\ITI- ordered to make munitions for the 
Germans. On their refusing to do so they 
were made to stand to attention every day 
for seven days. Seventy-five of the two thousand 
were brought back to the camp by a back 
entrance, the remainder having been left 
behind, no one knew where. " They presented 


Chairman of the Russian Prisoners of War 


a pitiable spectacle," said the soldier. " Their 
hair was unkempt, their cheeks sunken in, 
they were almost naked and they had only 
rags to cover their feet. The guards were 
ordered to bring them black bread. In their 
desperate eagerness to get at the bread they 
reached forward but were too weak for the 
effort. Many fell down and were unable to 
rise again. Some died at once and the rest 
were taken to hospital, where 16 died that 
night." Such a tale sounds incredible. The 
man, however, made a formal declaration before 
thf authorities of its truth and begged the 
Russians lie saw to do something to help their 

l>argo numbers of Serbians, including many 
Serbian ln<ls, were taken prisoner during the 
great invasion of 1915. Their numbers, so far 
as can be told, were about 150,000 ; 30,000 of 
these were sent to Bulgaria, and considerably 
over 100.000 to Germanv and Austria-Hungary. 

Comparatively few were kept in those parts of 
Serbia captured by the Austrians. Their 
place was taken, in the main, by Italian 
prisoners whose labour was used to cultivate 
the country on a large scale. Over 40 per cent . 
more of Serbian land was cultivated in 1917 
with the aid of these Italian prisoners than had 
ever been by its own people. 

The question of relief work for Serbian 
prisoners was first raised in February, 19 Hi, 
when an English sergeant at Parchim sent a 
postcard saying that there were many Serbian 
prisoners there in great need of food and 
clothing. The Serbian Relief Fund undertook 
to do something, and in May. 1916, a supply of 
bread was sent to a number of camps through 
the Bureau de Secours at Berne. This serviee 
of relief gradually extended until in the summer 
of 1917 no less than 62,500 prisoners were 
receiving weekly supplies. 

These supplies were on a very modest scale, 
consisting only of, at first, a kilo, and then two 
kilos of bread per man per week. 

It was for some time exceedingly difficult to 
obtain any exact details of the condition of the 
Serbian prisoners. Something was learnt from 
men who escaped from different camps. A 
broad difference was found generally in the 
treatment in Austria-Hungary and in Germany. 
In Austria-Hungary the prisoners suffered a 
great deal from the incompetence and bad 
organization of their captors. It was not HO 
much that the Austrians were actively cruel 
to them as that they neglected in many cases 
to make any proper provision. As a result, 
very large numbers of the Serbians had so little 
food and such scanty means of keeping them- 
selves clean, or keeping their .-amps in sanitary 
condition, that attack after attack of typhus 
swept their ranks. 

In Germany the organization was better, 
but the conditions far more rigorous. The 
Germans after they began to exploit the 
Serbian soldiers for industrial work, provided 
them with food, which, while it would seem 
miserably poor to the Englishmen and French- 
men, did not excite so much complaint among 
the Serbians men already well inured to 

Conditions varied in many camps. In some 
they were undoubtedly very bad indeed. From 
information supplied by escaped prisoners and 
by neutrals it became possible to get some idea 
of the conditions in the different centres. 

Koniyabmeck. f'onclitions at this camp were very 



bad. The food was insufficient and of poor quality, 
many of the prisoners being ill with stomach complaints. 

SW/ou. This was the parent camp for many smaller 
commandos. The ration of bread allowed here was 
about 5J ounces a day. Meat was supplied once a 
fortnight. No clothing was given to the prisoner." until 
they were almost naked. They wpre not allowed to 
speak to each other when working in gangs. 

M&nater. Here the Serbian prisoners were forced to 
work in munition factories, many of them being sent to 
the Krupp works at Essen. They were paid about 3jd. 
per day and allowed to speak to each other, but strictly 
forbidden to talk to British or prisoners of other 

Heinricliayrun. There were many Serbian officers 
here, of whom about 1,300 were always in hospital. 

Manthauoen. This place was known as " the Grave- 
yard," owing to the very heavy mortality. 

Dronendorf. The great feature in this camp was the 
large number of Serbians always in hospital, and the 
prevalence of dysentery and tuberculosis. No soap, 
no disinfectants and no invalid food were provided. 
Bread was so scarce that the Serbians could sell their 
loaves, sent by the Swiss Bureau, for 8s. each. 

Braunau. About 1,600 boys between the ages of eight 
and seventeen were interned here. Many more Serbian 
children were kept at Nevrider. 

One extraordinary feature of the camps for 
Serbians in Austria-Hungary was that soldier 
prisoners, civilians, women and children were all 
mixed up. The places were vast concentration 
camps, in which enormous numbers of Serbians 
were driven, shut in and left largely to their 
own devices. 

In addition to the camps for the Serbians of 
the kingdom, the Austrians created a further 


series of concentration wimps 
Serbs suspected of disloyalty. 

for Austrian 

An interesting chapter impossible to write 
in full until alter the war, could deal with 
the escapes of prisoners. Quite a considerable 
number of British Russian and French officers 
and men got away from camps or work stations 




in Germany. The Russians were particularly 
active in attempting to escape, largely owing 
to the very severe treatment they received. 
They knew that nothing could be worse than 
what they then suffered, and accordingly they 
made a bold plunge, often crowned with 
success. In some cases they only knew in the 
vaguest possible way the geography of the 
di-t riots where they lived. They were particu- 
larly fortunate if they had a compas-. 

Their usual plan was to take the first oppor- 
tunity of slipping off unobserved and then 
make straight in an estimated direction for 
the Dutch Frontier or for the Allied lines. 
They would lie hidden all day in woods, in 
ditches, or in rooky districts where they could 
not easily be seen. At night they would march 
on, starting as soon as the roads were quiet 



The Serbians are in raj's. 

and keeping on till day-break. For a single 
German to see them meant as a rule their 
re-capture. Often enough they ran out of 
food some days before they reached the Dutch 
Frontier. Then as they got near came the 
most exciting time of all. Would they get 
through 't Would they be held up by wires 
or would German guards meet and recapture 
them at the last moment ? The scene can 
be imagined of the men creeping through the 

undergrowth, picking the roughest and 
dreariest parts and then makiag the final dash. 
Tune after time escaped prisoners thought 
themselves arrested at the last moment by 
German guards only to find that they had 
already crossed the frontier and were safely 
in Holland. 

CAMP, with their bagpipes. 

The Dutch uniformly treated these escaped 
men, of whatever nationality, with the greatest 
possible kindness, gave them food, clothing, and 
a hearty welcome and sped them on their way. 

Other Russian prisoners who were put at 
work behind the lines on the Western Front 
boldly made their way at night right across the 
German positions into No-man's-land and 
risked being shot by sentries on either sid?. 
There were parts of the British Front in the 
spring and summer of 1917 where the cry of 
" Rust-ki, Russki," was heard more than once, 
tmd where the sentry carefully covered the- 
approaching man with his rifle, as a gaunt, 
famished figure crept up to him, threw himself 
at his feet and with tears and prayers tried to 
prove that he was a friend. 

There were other cases where parties of men 
in German uniform, Russian subjects who had 
been forced into the German army, tried to go 
over in a body. This was still more dangerous 
and difficult. The sentries on the British side 
naturally suspected a trap, and the German 
troops on the other side had no mercy for the 
man caught between the lines. 

In many camps plots for escape added to the 
/.est of life. In one, a group of Russian officers 
had nearly completed a tunnel under the wire 



entanglements when they were caught. Men 
spend weeks and months planning and plotting 
to obtain maps and compasses and to learn 
something of the country through which they 
must pass. Many men were captured an hour 
or two after they got away. Often the most 
carefully planned schemes broke down at the 
very beginning. 

Some set to learn German that they might 
be able to get freely about once they got out- 
side the walls. Some, after escaping from 
their prisons, took the boldest possible course 

We made off across country on compass bearing. 
The first two nights were mostly through forest drifted 
deep with snow, and it was hard to make much proxies?. 
However, on the third night we stuck to roads and 
covered 28 miles. Each night we travelled from dark 
till daylight. We slept all day, covering ourselves with 
hay. both for warmth and secrecy. Once a party of men 
came and removed hay from within a few feet of wln-rn 
we lay hidden, but we were deep down, and they did not 
Discover us. 

Towns in Germany are ill-lighted, but not as dark as 
London. '.Ve travelled over 200 miles, and all that 
time I suppose we did not see more than a dozen men. 
Once a sportsman came within 15 vards of us, but we 
just managed to creep away without being seen. A 
patrol once challenged us on the road, but we had 
already passed him, and he took no exception to the only 



and went right into German cities, even into 
Berlin itself, and then moved towards the 
frontier along circuitous routes far from the 
usual prisoner of war stations. 

.Most of the tales of the men's adventures 
could not be related, because they would be- 
trav plans that might yet be used by others. 
One officer's story summarises, however, the 
experience of many. It was told in The Times 
of April 16. 1917. The officer was one of a 
party of 80 who were sent from Friedberg to 
other camps. He escaped on the way. His 
preparations had been made caretully in 

words of German I knew. We soon left the road again 
however, and nothing further occurred. 

Starting on our final journey, we were unlucky enough 
to be stopped by a forest guard. A belt of about 10 
miles is patrolled by forest guards. The guard told us to 
halt, which we did, as wo were only half a mile from a 
village, and wo were afraid of giving an alarm. Ho told 
us he would shoot if we did not march at once. Then he 
started to bluff us, counting il Ein. ?wei." and fumbling 
in his pocket for an imaginary revolver. When he 
came to count " Drei " it fell rather flat, and ho then 
asked to sno my papers. I had a card ready, and 1 
showed it to him. 

The actual frontier at this point is in a belt of forest, 
somewhat similar to the New Forest. It was very 
difficult to keep an accurate route, but there were no 
wire entanglements or live wires. The sole guard is the 
Cirest force, who are generally armed with revolvers. 

Ono would think that, living in a prison camp, one 



* -v'i '*'' 














would be too soft to stand the sort of thing we went 
through, but we arrived in perfectly good health. The 
whole period of the journey was bitterly cold, and our 
water bottles wore frozen by day and night. The most 
unpleasant period was the last three days, when it rained 

By the summer of 1017 the problem of 
protecting the prisoners of war had again 
reached a point where there was real un- 
easiness among all interested in the well- 
being of Allied subjects in German hands. 
Many prisoners, both officers and men, were 
living under reasonably good conditions. 
The officers in particular, although chafing 
under numerous minor restrictions and de- 
prived of their freedom, were not as a rule 
subject to physical discomfort. The hospital 
treatment for prisoners, apart from the more 
outlying districts, had generally improved, and 
in many cases the hospital authorities made 
reasonable provision for the treatment of the 
men. Some of the hospital abuses which 
marked the earlier stages of the war seemed 
now scarcely possible. 

In the majority of the camps the housing 
accommodation, the sanitary arrangements, 
and the general control were on a much better 
basis, at least as far as British and French 
prisoners were concerned. There was still in 
some of these camps much arbitrary treatment, 
and reports reached England of individual 
cases of great harshness and oppression. But 
these were not so common as at first. And 
while the German food was more inadequate 
than ever, the parcels from England made 
ample provision for nearly all of the interned 

Another groat improvement was in the atti- 
tude of the civilians. People who two and a 
half years before had greeted our men with 
abuse and who would then, if they could, -have 
inflicted every kind of physical violence on 
them, now looked pitifully and sadly at them 
rather than otherwise. - They had passed the 
sta,ge of mad exaltation and had themselves 
realised to the full the bitterness of war. 

Why then, in view of these favourable 
developments, was there uneasiness ? 

The first uneasiness arose from fear of the 
effect of prolonged confinement upon our men. 
Numbers of our prisoners had now been in 
German hands for close on three years. During 
much of this time they had been buoyed up 
with hopes of speedy release, hopes constantly 
disappointed, ever to be renewed again. Most 
of these older prisoners had gone through 

experiences of the most trying kind. It was felt 
that men could not stand much more without, 
in many cases, permanent and irreparable 

The next cause of uneasiness lay in the 
growing proofs that the more moderate forces 


in Germany were being time after time defeated 
or overborne in their plans for more humane 
treatment of prisoners. There was a period 
when the German authorities could be induced 
to make some effort to remedy abuses by the 
argument that the facts about these would 
produce very harmful impressions upon neutm 
nations. This argument was more and more 
losing its effect. The great neutral nations, 
notably the United States, had now taken sides 
against Germany, and there were growing evi- 
dences of a willingness on the part of some of 
the authorities to adopt the most extreme 
courses, irrespective of what any others 

The growing exploitation of prisoner labour, 
the disgraceful means by which men were forced 
to consent to manufacture munitions of war 
against their own people, or to help to build 
trenches against their Allies, and instances such 
as the concealment for months of hundreds of 
British prisoners behind the \\Vstem front, were 
all evidences of this. 

Plan after plan for the betterment of 
prisoners' conditions, such as the exchange of 




older men, and the relief of those who had been 
a long time in captivity, were he'd up by the 
German authorities or met by evasive 
answers, although they would have benefited 
Germans equally with British. Each month 
gave the British a stronger argument to use in 
defence of their own people, for each month 
during the winter and spring and summer of 
1916-17 added to the number of German 
prisoners in British hands. 

There were many proofs, however, that the 
Germans deliberately shut their eyes to all 
evidence of the way their people were treated 
after capture. On more than one occasion 
they excused their own conduct on the plea 
that their ill-treatment of the British was 
in reprisal for ill-treatment by the British 
of the Germans. Many things seemed to 
show that tho German higher authorities 
would only with difficulty be moved from their 
purpose by a plea that their own people who 
\\cTt- prisoners would be benefited. 

It was felt more and more in England that 
one great need was for the Government clearly 

to state its position on the prisoners of war 
question, to announce what immediate measures 
it would take in cases of proved ill-treatment, 
and to hold fast to its policy. 

On more than one occasion speakers for the 
Government had announced the possibility of a 
policy of reprisal for certain things. These 
threats were not carried into effect. Above all, 
it was felt that even late in the day the 
authorities would still be well advised to make a 
complete end of the policy of semi-secrecy 
with which the prisoner of war question had 
been surrounded. They had nothing to conceal. 
Every visitor to the British prison camps 
became a fresh defender of British methods. 
Wide circulation of accounts of ill-treatment 
of prisoners certainly caused resentment iu , 
Britain against the enemy, but also did more 
than this. Such accounts were more than 
once a powerful influence in securing even 
partial redress of wrongs. And the desire of 
all classes was that no effort should bo spared, 
no weapon unemployed, to aid our men in 
enomy hands. 




AFTER two and a half years of war it 
at last became clear to the rulers of 
Great Britain that a Cabinet repre- 
senting all the self-governing States 
of the Empire was a necessity. On Christmas 
Day, 1916, the invitation was issued which 
resulted in the meeting of the War Cabinet and 
Conference in the spring of 1917. 

The invitation was one of the first acts of 
the Government of Mr. Lloyd George, which 
had succeeded that of Mr. Asquith. It showed 
in the new British Ministry a gift of imagination 
that had been signally lacking in their pre- 
decessors and a defiance of convention which 
was full of promise for the future. Mr. Lloyd 
George and his colleagues must have full 
credit for the invitation and its consequences. 
Many of them, however, had been members 
of the Coalition Cabinet under Mr. Asquith. 
This, with the fact that the invitation to the 
Dominions was issued so soon after Mr. Lloyd 
George became Prime Minister, suggests that 
its inspiration came from the new blood in 
his Cabinet. 

It seemed, no doubt, natural enough at the 
time that the British Cabinet should be the 
sole repository of the Executive power of the 
Empire for war purposes. British Ministers 
had always been responsible for the internal 
Vol. XII. Part 151. 269 

relations of the Empire. The control of 
foreign policy inevitably carries with it 
other definite executive powers. The 
authority which decides who the allies of the 
State are to be, and who the enemies, must 
know what naval and military force backs 
its diplomacy at any g;iven moment. Navies 
are not built armies are not organized, trained 
and mustered, without money. Financial 
provision for them had therefore to be also 
under the control of the men who decided 
foreign policy. These powers the British 
system concentrated in the hands of British 
Ministers. The Dominions had nothing to do 
either with the authority which they conferred 
or with the burden which they entailed. So 
it was when the war broke out. So it remained 
till the end of 1916. 

Posterity may wonder why a system 
which left the supreme power of the Empire 
in the hands of one of its component States 
had been accepted with so little question before 
the war and remained unaltered for two and a 
half years after war had come. The reason 
can be given in a very few words. The 
British Empire was a peaceable State, so far as 
it was a State at all. Men have laboured to 
show the falseness of the German accusation 
that Great Britain with her sea-power, her 



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world-embracing possessions, ' her far-reaching 
law was the real author of the war. 
_ Their labours, it may be conjectured, were 
. not so successful in some foreign countries 
as might be desired. There was a good deal 
that was specious in the German case. But 
its falsity is established by the single fact that 
.the naval and military strength of the Empire 
rested. . right up to August, 1914, upon the 
British voter alone. If the rulers of the 
Empire had designed war, if for any length of 
time before war broke out they had even 
believed that it was a contingency which had 
to be reckoned with seriously, it is incon- 
ceivable that it could have been so. But 
that is by the way. The point at the moment 
is, that the failure of the British people to 
find for their ,naval and 'military power any 
broader basis than they had had in the days 
of Queen Elizabeth was due to the fact that 
they sought peace and ensued it assuming 
the while that all other peoples of the world 
did the same, or that, if they did not, they 
would bs coerced into inaction by the mere 
inert force of the established order of European 

Upon that dream the thunderbolt of Germany 
crashed in August, 1914, and destroyed it. 
Imt years had to pass before its fantasies faded 
from the minds of the British peoples. The 
armies of the Dominions were mustered and 
came into action on the battlefields of Europe, 
of Asia, and of Africa. But still the strategy 
that moved them on the chequered board of 
the world- war was the strategy of British 
Ministers. Gallipoli was one combination of that 
strategy ; the defence of Egypt another ; the 
campaigns of Mesopotamia and of Persia a 
third ; the invasion of German South-West 
and East Africa yet another. In all, just as in 
the campaigns of Western Europe, the decision 
of British Ministers .was accepted without 
question by the Dominions. Strategy as the 
will of the executive naval and military 
authority of the Empire, strategy as the weapon 
of the diplomacy of the Empire (the Dominions 
said, in effect, up to the end of 191C) was no 
concern of theirs. It was the concern of British 
Ministers and of them alone. The Dominions 
were most scrupulous in their single-minded 
observance of this principle, with all its con- 
sequences. They were under orders, and they 
refused to criticize or cavil at the men who had 
to give the orders. Campaigns might fail 
grievously to produce the results that they were 

.obviously ' designed to ' produce, but th^ 
Dominions refrained even .from good words. 
There had never been a more marvellous proof 
of the innate .sense of discipline of the British 
peoples. It was magnificent ; but it was not 

A system which thus held its authority over 
the British peoples for so long a period after 
most exacting trial demands real understanding 
of its origins and its justifications. If it was 
rooted in the essential peace-fulness of the 
British Empire, that does not explain why 
when the war came it was not abandoned 
immediately. The reason is that the British 
peoples were slow to imagine any other system. 
Even when the Lloyd George Ministry changed 
it by a stroke of the pen at the end of 19 1C the 
people, not only of the British Isles but of the 
Dominions, failed almost completely to under- 
stand the change. The truth is that they were 
still obsessed by the tradition of the hegemony 
of Great Britain within the Empire. They 
might proclaim their belief that the relation of 
. parent and child, as between Great Britain and 
the Dominions, was a thing of the past. They 
might talk about equality of status as between 
the States of the Empire. All this was very well 
in theory. But it was not so in practice, and the 
Dominion peoples knew that it was not so. 
Even the theory of the Imperial system did not 
support it. It was loose talk. The Imperial 
authority had still the right to veto Acts passed 
by the Dominion Legislatures. The right was 
practically in abeyance, but it had been used 
not so many years before 1914. And in very 
many small ways apart fro.n the supreme 
power of controlling foreign policy aid its 
accessories the actual sovereignty of Groat 
Britain was proved by existing facts. 

The real statesmen of the Dominions knew 
this perfectly well, though they were not in 
the habit of making a point of it in public 
speeches. It was recognized instinctively 
throughout the Dominions. They left the 
supreme government of the Empire to British 
Ministers because they had always been 
used to have it so. This left them free to 
enjoy full local autonomy. It did not interfere 
with their convenience. It kept them remote 
from the worries and tangles of European 
politics, of which they knew little and would 
have liked to know nothing. And it freed 
them from the financial burden of armaments, 
allowing them to devote their available wealth 
to the development of their local resources 




hope of speedy prosperity depended on 
such development. British supremacy within 
the Empire encouraged and justified that hope. 
No wonder that Germany, deliberately 
preparing her bid for world supremacy, looked 
with scorn across the " German Ocean " at 

Prime Minister of Canada. 

the British Empire. Everything seemed to 
show that the British peoples kept together 
merely by a miracle of chance, which the first 
touch of deliberate aggression must shatter. 
Yet beneath all this apparent indifference 
there was a deep current of reflection on the 
Imperial future. The pacifist dream had 
not seduced any but a small minority of the 
British people. As early as 1912 Sir Robert 
Borden, Prime Minister of Canada, was looking 
forward to the day when the population of 
Canada would rival in numbers that of the 
British Isles, and had ventured the reflection 
that British Ministers could not much longer 
have a monopoly of foreign policy or the 
people of Great Britain be much longer saddled 
with the sole burden of maintaining the Navy 
and the Army. Dominion Ministers, too, 
had a pretty shrewd idea of Germany's designs. 
" What a fantastic picture it was that Prussian 
militarism made for itself before the outbreak 
of this war!" exclaimed Sir Robert Borden 
in a speech made to the Empire Parliamentary 
Association during his visit to Europe in 1915. 

" It pictured Canada, Australia, and New 
Zealand standing aloof and indifferent or seeking 
an opportunity to cut themselves aloof from 
thi* Empire. What is the actual picture 
to-day ? They are bound to the Empire by 
stronger ties than ever before, and are prepared 
to lijiht to the death for the maintenance of 
its integrity and for the preservation of our 
common civilization throughout the world. 
What of South Africa ? The Prussian picture 
was that it should flare into rebellion at once. 
cut itself off from the Empire, and proclaim 
its independence. What is the actual picture ? 
The heroic figure of General Louis Botha 
receiving the surrender of German South- West 
Africa a territory larger than the German 
Empire itself." The " Prussian picture " 
seemed " fantastic " enough in 1915. But it 
had haunted the minds of many thoughtful 
men throughout the Empire for years before 
1914. Would the Empire stand the sudden 
strain of a European war ? Would the 
Dominions acquiesce in a declaration of war 
made by the British Government practically 
without consultation with them > These 
speculations proved to be spectres of the 
imagination onlv when war came. The mere 
threat of war dissolved them. Four- days 
before the British Government declared war 
the Government of Canada, to quote Sir Robert 
Borden again, " took the responsibility ... 
of sending a message to His Majesty's Govern- 
ment stating that if war should unhappily 
supervene they might be assured that Canada 
would regard the quarrel as her own and 
would do her part in maintaining the integrity 
of this Empire." The same spirit animated 
the Governments of the other Dominions, and 
the German dream vanished with the breaking 
of the red dawn of war. 

There had, long before August, 1914, been 
tentative approaches to some common system 
of defence for the Empire. They were mere 
approaches. They did not get very far. 
But they revealed the sense of the Dominions 
that the defence of the Empire could not be 
left much longer to Great Britain alone, and 
they might, if war had not broken out, have 
led to the gradual evolution of a system which 
would have put the executive power of the 
Empire in the hands of a body representative 
of the Dominions as well as of the British 
Isles. Thus, in 1909, a memorandum by the 
War Office with reference to the formation of 
an Imperial General Staff was circulated by 



Lord Crewe, then Colonial Secretary, to Aus- 
tralia, Canada, and New Zealand. The Union 
of South Africa had not been formed at that 
time. The Colonial Secretary in his covering 
letter pointed out that the memorandum had 
been prepared in pursuance of the third resolu- 
tion of the Imperial Conference of .1907, and 
expressed the hope that " the principles anil 
procedure explained in it may meet with 
acceptance from your Government," and that 
it would be " welcomed as showing the lines 
on which action should be taken in developing 
and improving the existing organization of 
the defence forces " of the Empire. The 
main points in the memorandum were thus 
summarized by the War Office : 

1. The necessity for the maintenance of sea supremacy, 
which alone can ensure any military co-operation at ail. 

timely provision for an emergency deprives military 
forces of much of their potential value, while adequate 
preparation has been proved in all recent campaigns to be 
a paramount factor in securing a rapid and successful 
dci-ision. For these reasons, although the Ov< r-< .1 
Dominions may be unable to undertake definite respon- 
sibility for anything beyond local defence, it would still 
be well, in organising for such defence, to consider the 
necessities incidental to the situation in which the 
Dominions beyond the seas desired to give effective mili- 
tary service in association with the troops of the Mother 
Country. Such a contingency has been kept in view in 
the accompanying paper. 

It would have been well, as bitter experience 
showed, if that contingency had not only been 
contemplated by the War Office in 1909, but 
had inspired the definite organization of an 
Imperial General Staff. As it was, the War 
Office Memorandum seems to have had no 
definite result. At least, when war did come 
in 1914, there was no visible sign of the exist- 

Destroyed by 6re in 1916. 

2. The desirability of a certain broad plan of military 
organisation for the Empire, but not a rigid model making 
no allowance for local difficulties. 

3. A conception of combination in which the armed 
forces of the Empire would be organised in two parts ; 
the first part having local defence as its function, the 
second designed for the service of the Empire as a whole. 

The War Office appended to this summary 
a short statement of the conditions which they 
accepted as governing in practice these ideals : 

The Army Council are well aware that the self-govern- 
ing Dominions can give no guarantee that contingents of 
any given strength or composition will be forthcoming for 
service in any part of the Empire in the event cf a great 
war. At the same time, they fully realised that the feel- 
ings of loyalty and affection towards the Mother Country 
entertained by the Overseas Dominions will operate as 
powerfully in the hour of trial as they did during the 
recent war in South Africa. But the lack of definite and 

ence of any organization whatever for moving 
to the scene of the various campaigns bodies 
of troops already organized in the Dominions. 
As a matter of fact any scheme for constituting 
an Imperial General Staff in 1909, or, indeed, 
up to 1915, was merely a plan for putting the 
cart before the' horse. The Dominions had 
never contemplated in any serious spirit the 
necessity of sending troops to Europe. The 
military organizations of Australia, Sourh 
Africa, and Xew Zealand, though they were 
based upon compulsion, were intended solely 
for the provision of a Home Defence Force. 
The militia of Canada was designed for the 
same purpose, and even for that purpose was 



transparently inadequate. So that it may bo 
s;'id \vith truth that there had been no approach, 
up till 1914, towards the organization of any 
composite force, drawn from British and 
Dominion troops, which might be available for 
tin' service of the Empire in any field should 
war break out. 

The naval position, from the point of view 
of the co-operation of the Dominions, was 
hardly any better. The agreement with 


LORD HARGOURT (Mr. Lewis Harcourt), 
Secretary of State fjr the Colonies, 1910-1915. 

Australia and New Zealand which was made in 
August, 1909, led to the formation of the 
Australian Navy. But long before the war 
broke out the Avs:ralian Government wa> 
complaining about the practical results of 
that agreement. Australian Ministers were 
representing that they had done their part, 
and that the Australian Navy was in the way 
to become a weapon such JIM the agreement 
had contemplated. They conplained that 
the other side of the agree mant had been 
nlmost wholly ignored by the Admiralty. 
It " did not appear " to them, they said in 
r. dispatch which they sent to the Colonial 
Secretary on August 16, 1913, " that the China 
end East Indies units are being provided." 
This was perfectly true. As a matter of fact 
the naval agreement of 1909 had broken 

down. The tension of naval competition in 
Europe had become more and more severe. 
The threat of the German Navy compelled the 
Admiralty to concentrate everything in the 
North Sea. It was necessary to strain every 
nerve to maintain the minimum rate of con- 
struction that was in any way consistent with 
security. It became more and more difficult 
to wring the money for this desperate competi- 
tion in arms from a Parliament which was 
continually being soothed by British states- 
men whenever it showed signs of being appre- 
hensive about the designs of Germany. Tho 
Admiralty were absolutely right, in these 
strait circumstances, to ignore the naval 
agreement of 1909. They had much more 
urgent work in hand, and no academic regard 
for their undertaking to Australia and New 
Zealand could have justified them in risking 
security in European waters for the sake of 
the programme to which they had set their 
hand in 1909. 

The fact is that the naval agreement of 
1909 was an attempt to compromise between 
political and military considerations. Aus- 
tralia and New Zealand were growing mors 
and more anxious as they saw the increasing 
concentration of British ships in the North 
Sea. They began to feel lonely and neglected ; 
to imagine themselves a prey, in the event of 
war breaking out, of any hostile warship that 
might be prowling about the Pacific ; to reflect 
that the highest strategic interests of the 
Empire might be perfectly consistent, in the 
view of the Admiralty, with leaving the shores 
of the Pacific Dominions unprotected. There 
was a good deal of truth in all this. The war 
when it did come speedily showed that, if it 
had not been for the warships which Australia 
had built for herself, both Australia and New 
Zealand would have been very awkwardly 
at the mercy of the powerful German war- 
ships which were stationed on the coast of 
China. The Admiralty no doubt felt in 1909 
that there was this much in the requests of 
Australia and New Zealand ; that it could do 
little harm to register their approval of the 
construction of an Australian Navy ; and thus 
conceded the principle. When it came, how- 
ever, to having to carry out their part of the 
agreement, to send ships to the Pacific and to 
provide personnel and equipment, they very 
naturally drew back. 

Thus there had been no true beg ; nn ; ng, either 
on the naval or on the military side, of any 



real organization of Imperial resources before 
1914. Nevertheless, the need for some kind 
of joint Imperial action had been very gener- 
ally recognized. At the Imperial Conference 
of 1911 Sir Joseph Ward, then Prime Minister 
of New Zealand, moved a resolution asking 



Minister for Finance in the New Zealand 
Coalition Cabinet. 

that the High Commissioners of the Dominions 
should bo summoned to the Committee of 
Imperial Defence when naval and military 
matters affecting the Dominions were under 
consideration. The resolution was amended, 

and wad passed in the following form : 

1. That one or more representatives, appointed by the 
respective Governments of the Dominions, should be 
invited to attend meetings of the Committee of Imperial 
defence when questions of naval and military defenca 
affecting the Oversea Dominions are under considera- 

2. The proposal that a Defence Committee should be 
established in each Dominion is accepted in principle. 
The constitution of these Defence Committees is a 
matter for each Dominion to decide. 

In the autumn of 1911 there was a change 
of Government in Canada, and Mr. Borden 
succeeded Sir Wilfrid Laurier. In the summer 
of 1912 Mr. Borden visited London. In private 
conversation with the Prime Minister, Mr. 
Asquith, and with the Colonial Secretary, 
Mr. Harcourt, he expressed the desire " that 
the Canadian and other Dominions Ministers 
who might be In London as members of the 
Committee of Imperial Defence should receive, 
in confidence, knowledge of the policy and pro 
ceedings of the Imperial Government in foreign 
and other affairs." 

This suggestion was the basis of a statement 
made by Mr. Harcourt in a public speech soon 
afterwards : 

There is, on the part of Cnmvlitm Ministers and people, 
a natural and laudable desire for a greater measure of 
consultation and co-operation with us in the future than 
they have had in the past .... Speaking for myself, I 
see no obstacle, :in<l certainly no objection, to the 
Governments of all the Dominions being given at onee 
a larger shun 1 in the executive direction in matters of 
defence and in personal consultation and co-operation 
with individual British Ministers whose duty it is to 
frame policy here. I should welcome a more continuous 
representation of Dominions Ministers, if they \\ish it, 
upon the Committee of Imperial Defence ; we should all 
bo glad if a member or members of tho<-r Ca'jinets could 
bo annually in London. The door of fellowship and 
friendship is always open to them, and we require no 
formalities of an Tmperia! Conference for the continuity 
of Imperial confidence. 

The suggestion thus made by the Colonial 
Secretary on behalf of the Imperial Government 

Prime Minister of Canada, 1896-1911. 

was formally accepted by the Government of 
Canada, who at the first opportunity stationed 
a member of the Canadian Cabinet permanently 
in London. The Governments of the other 
Dominions were not so favourable to the sugges- 
tion. The New Zealand Government, for 
instance, wrote on June 19, 1913, that they 
did not " consider it advisable at present for 
a permanent appointment to be made, but 
rather that, when at any time accredited 
Ministers of the Government of the Dominion 
are in England, they may be invited to attend 



(hr deliberations of the Committee of Imperial 
Defence in a like manner as has been the 
privilege of the Xew Zealand Minister of 
Defence, Colonel James Allen, during his recent 
visit.",. The Government of South Africa were 
even more emphatic. On January 30, 1913, 
they wrote expressing appreciation of .Mr. 
Harcourt's suggestion and of the "readiness 
evinced by His Majesty's Government to make 


Prime Minister of the Australian Commonwealth, 

provision, through the machinery of the Imperial 
Defence Committee, for more frequent oppor- 
tunities of consultation between the Imperial 
and Dominion Governments." The rest of 
this dispatch is so signal an illustration of the 
kind of attitude which may be adopted by the 
Dominions to well-meant suggestions from 
England, like that of Mr. Harcourt, that it 
may be quoted in full : 

Ministers have noted with pleasure that, as Mr. Secre- 
tary Harcourt clearly indicates, no new departure in 
constitutional practice is intended, but that the propo-als 
of His Majesty's Government are simply a further expres- 
sion of that spirit of mutual consultation and helpful 
co-operation which in the past has so happily animated 
the Hritish Government in its relations to the Govern- 
ments of the sclt'.^ovcrnin^ Dominions. 

Not only have mutters of grave military and naval 
concern to the Kmpire and its component parts been very 
fully and frequently discus-ed at various Imperial 
Defence Conferences, but, at meetings of the Imperial 
D.-p-pce Committee. His Majesty's Government have 
made to representatives of the Dominion Governments 
full and frank disclosures on very important aspects of 
Imperial Foreign Policy. In the interval between these 

conference-, Ministers have repeatedly received from the 
<)VIT-' I IIS siili-comtniMee of the Committee of 1 nip'-rial 
Defence the most valuable technical jvlvice in regard to 
defence arrtiriLjcmcnts for the Union (of South Africa). 

The r \i tin. m.ichinery for consultation and M!_;L'< L SI ii m 
has thus worked so smoothly that Ministers would be loth 
any new departure inaugurated \\ Inch mi_'ht in the 
end prove less satisfactory in practice. In particular, 
they doubt whether the idea of a Minister of the Union 
re-idin^ in London for the purpose of constantly repre- 
senting the Union Government on the Imperial Defence 
Committee i.s practicable. 

As long as the control of foreign policy remains, as 
under present conditions it must necessarily remain, 
solely with the Imperial Government, and the Imperial 
( Jovernment continue, as agreed at the last Imperial 
Conference, to consult the Dominions on all questions 
of foreign policy which affect them individually. Ministers 
do not think it is necessary to have a Union Minister in 
constant attendance at the Imperial Defence Committee. 

It is always open to the Union Government either to 
seek advice from the Imperial Defence Committee in 
writing, or, in more important cases, to ask for a personal 
consultation between that Committee and the repre- 
sentative of the Union Government. In the latter ease, 
undoubtedly the more convenient course, at any rate 
so far as the Union is concerned, would be that either the 
Prime Minister or the Minister or Ministers whose 
departments are more specially concerned should visit 
London for the purpose of such consultation. 

The Australian Government, of which Mr. 
Cook, the Liberal leader, was then Prime 
Minister, gave no specific answer to Mr. Har- 
court's suggestion that they should send a 
Minister to London to become a permanent 
member of the Imperial Defence Committee. 
Their reply, dated December 19, 1912, to Mr. 
Harcourt's communication, made an alternative 
suggestion : 

It is impracticable for any Commonwealth Ministers 
to visit England during the ensuing year, but in view 
of the great importance of the Dominions adopting a 
common policy and having a complete understanding on 
the question of eo-operation for naval defence, it is 
suggested that a subsidiary conference should be con- 
vened in Australia, in either January or February, I !!!!!. 
If this is not practicable Ministers would be prepared to 
attend the conference in Xew Zealand, South Africa, or 
Vancouver, Canada. 

.Mr. Harcourt's suggestion had been sent to 
Australia by telegram on December 10, 1912. 
The Australian reply making this alternative 
suggestion was also sent by telegram. It 
evidently took the Colonial Office quite by 
surprise. It was not till January 8, 1913, 
that Mr. Harcourt replied, and his reply then 
took the form of an enquiry whether the date 
of the proposed conference had been correctly 
given in the Australian telegram of December 
19, as 1913. The next day the Australian 
Ministers replied by telegram : 

Year named, 19 IS, correct. Ministers desired con- 
ference might be held at once in view of general election 
probably occurring May next. 

The subsequent communications between 
the Colonial Office and the Dominions about 



this Australian suggestion constitute an illumi- 
nating revelation of the cumbrous machinery 
by which the affairs of the Empire were con- 
ducted in the year before the war. Assured 
by the Australian Government that they wanted 
a special defence conference and wanted it 
quickly, Mr. Harcourt recoiled almost with 
horror from the suggestion. " Please inform 
your Ministers," he telegraphed on January 10, 
1913, to the Governor-General of Australia, 
" owing to situation of public affairs here, we 
find it quite impossible to hold general Naval 
Defence Conference at date named and places 
suggested. Other Dominions could not attend 
at short notice, and it is doubtful whether they 
would desire a general conference at present. 
Defence Minister of New Zealand is now on 
his way to England, and Defence Minister of 
South Africa comes here in May for individual 
consultation. After your general election we 
shall welcome any Minister of yours who could 
visit England for discussion." This telegram 
was sent to the Australian Government early 
in January. It was not till February 22 that 
a copy of the telegraphic correspondence - 
between Australian Ministers and the Colonial 
Office was despatched from the Colonial Office 
to the Ministers of Canada, South Africa, New 
Zealand and Newfoundland. Even then, as 
the dispatch covering the correspondence 
shows, it was only the appearance " in the 

public Press" of " statements ... as to a pro- 
posed conference upon naval defence " which 
led tho Colonial Office to communicate th" 
Australian suggestion to the Governments <p| 
the other Dominions. As a matter of fact the 
special Defence Conference which Australia 
thus suggested was never held. Towards the 
end of 1913 the Australian Government 
renewed their suggestion that such a conference 
should be held. But circumstances were un- 
propitious, and when the suggestion came to a 
head in March, 1914, it was found that it was 
impossible both for the New Zealand and for 
the Australian Government to send representa- 
tives to it. The conference was therefore 
abandoned, and aimost exactly four months 
later war broke out. 

Meanwhile the Canadian Government had 
taken action on the suggestion in the resolution 
of the Imperial Conference of 1911, which has 
already been referred to, that a Defence Com- 
mittee should be established in each Dominion. 
In the speech which he made to the special 
session of the Dominion Parliament in August, 
1914, Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister of 
Canada, described the action which had been 
taken in this respect. " I need not say," he 
said, " that in the United Kingdom amongst 
those most closely in touch with these matters, 
especially among the military and naval 

Lent to the Commonwealth. 



authorities in the United Kingdom, there has 
been for many years a conviction that some 
effective organisation in the Dominions of the 
Empire should be provided so that an emer- 


Canadian Under-Secretary for External Affairs. 

gency such as that which arose so suddenly 
would not find us altogether in confusion." 
He went on to say that in January, 1914, Sir 
Joseph Pope, Canadian Under-Secretary of 
State for External Affairs, had submitted to 
him a proposal in this connexion. He then 
quoted a letter which he had written to Sir 
Joseph Pope, in which he said that he 

approved of the proposal for a conference 
"of deputy heads for the purpose of con- 
certing measures to be taken by the various 
departments of the Government primarily 
concerned in the contingency of an outbreak 
of war affecting His Majesty's Dominions, and 
more particularly of considering the preparation 
of a War Book which shall set forth in detail 
the action to be taken by every responsible 
official at the seat of Government in the event 
of such an emergency." The letter authorised 
Sir Joseph Pope to call such a cont'ercnc <. 
" The work," Sir Robert Borden addod, " went 
on. during the winter months, ami. . . I can 
describe what has been accomplished more 
conveniently by reading a memorandum which 
has been prepared by the Chairman, and which 
is as follows : 

In 1913 the Secretary of State for the Colonies com- 
municated to this Government certain memoranda of the 
Oversea Defence Committee outlining the action to tie 
taken by the naval and military authorities when rela- 
tions with any foreitrn power become strained, and on 
the outbreak of war. The suggestion was conveyed that 
the Governments of the various self-governing Dominions 
might advantageously prepare a similar record in each 
case to meet such contingencies. By the direction of the 
Government these recommendations were considered by 
the local inter-departmental Committee (which is cum- 
posed of the expert -officers of the naval and militia 
departments, sitting together). The Committee re- 
ported that a conference of those deputy ministers whose 
departments would primarily be affected by an outbreak 
of war should be held to consider how best to give r-nVrt 
to the proposals of the Oversea Committee. 

This suggestion was submitted to the Prime Minister, 
and received the approval of the Government. There- 


Tl e honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred on the following members of the Imperial Conference on 

June 14, 1911: (left to right) The Agha Khan, the Maharajah of Bikanir, the Earl of Minto, Sir 

Edward Morris, the Duke of Devonshire, the Earl of Crewe, General Botha, Sir Joseph Ward. 



upon a meeting . . . was held. At this meeting 
it was decided that the Secretaries should acquaint each 
member of the conference of the various contingencies 
which night arise, in the event of which the cooperation 
of his department would be required ; thus enabling him 
to decide what steps would be necessary to give effect to 
the decisions of the Conference, and to detail an officer of 
liis department to confer with tho Secretary in the actual 
compilation of tho War Book. 

M.vthus of sub-committees were subsequently held 
from time to time, at which the necessary action to be 
taken by the various departments in the event of certain 
contingencies arising was carefully considered and deter- 
mined. Each department then proceeded to develop its 
own line of action in detail, the whole being subsequently 
co-ordinated and incorporated in one scheme, indicating 
the course to be followed by the Government as a whole 
on an emergency arising. This scheme was then sub- 
mitted to and approved by the Prime Minister. 

The taking of these precautionary measures proved 
most fortunate, as on the receipt of intelligence during 
the last few weeks of the serious situation in Europe this 
Government found itself in a position to take, without 
the slightest delay, such action as the exigencies of the 
moment demanded, concurrently with His Majesty's 
Government and with the sister Dominions of the 

Sir Robert Borden testified to the value 
of the preparation which had thus been made 
in Canada. " I cannot overestimate," he 
said, " the great advantage to the country 
which resulted from having these matters 
considered, determined, and arranged in 
advance in conjunction with tho Imperial 
Government. The arrangements which 
were instantly necessary . . . were made 
without the slightest confusion. All communi- 
cations from the Imperial authorities were 
acted upon promptly and with, as I say, an 
entire absence of confusion. Every detail 
had been previously worked out with pre- 
cision." It is interesting to have this record 
of the preparations for war which had been 
made in Canada. Similar preparations, though 
not perhaps in the same completeness as to 
detail, had presumably been made in the other 
Dominions. For all that it remiins true that 
the foreign policy of the Empire, necessarily 
including the declaration of war, and inevitably 
involving the provision of naval and military 
force sufficient for war purposes, remained up 
to the actual outbreak of war wholly in the 
hands of British Ministers. The attempts 
to create a joint Imperial authority in naval 
and military matters had not been successful 
because such matters were essentially adjuncts 
to the power of war and peace. So long as 
the sole responsibility for the foreign relations 
of the Empire remained with British Ministers, 
so long had the people they represented to 
bear, in tho last resort, alone, and without 
any other than voluntary assistance from the 


One of the Representatives 9!" India at the 
Imperial War Cabinet and Conference, 1917. 

Dominions, the burden of providing the 
necessary naval and military strength. 

When, the war broke out, it was clear at 
once that Great Britain alone could no longer 
support by herself the whole weight of this 
burden. The immediate recognition by the 
Dominions of this nwt has long been a 
platitude. And verv <>"n the leaders of the 
Dominions were beginning to say that the 




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raising of Dominion armies must involve 
in the future some real participation in the 
foreign policy of the Empire. At first, 
however, the amount of work that had 
to be done within the Dominions themselves 
in raising, training, and equipping men ; 
in providing all the elaborate organization 
of an army in being ; in supporting it 
by constant reinforcements ; in providing for 
its feeding and its health conditions, gave 
everyone so much to do that there was not 
much time to think about the future conse- 
quences of these military activities. The 
same, of course, applied to Great Britain. 
If it seems strange that there should have 
been no attempt to gather an executive War 
Council of all the leading men of the Empire 
there is considerable excuse for the failure to 
do so. The initiative had to come from the 
Imperial Government, and British Ministers 
were so overburdened with the mere executive 
work of the war that they shuddered at the 
very idea of assuming the additional respon- 
sibility of consultation with a formally sum- 
moned body of Dominion Ministers. As a 
matter of fact subsequent experience showed 
that if Dominion Ministers had been asked to 
come to London for a War Cabinet as soon as 
their local affairs allowed them to be absent, 
their presence would have lightened the work 
of British Ministers very much, and they 
could have determined the broad lines of 
Imperial foreign policy and of British strategy 
by sea and land in a way which might have 
had a profound influence on the whole course 
of the war. What the moral effect of such a 
Council might have been it is impossible to 
say. It is true that when the Imperial War 
Cabinet did meet at the beginning of 1917 its 
moral influence was not very perceptible, at 
least at the moment. There may, however, 
have been reasons for this which would not 
have operated in the case of an Imperial War 
Council held much earlier in the war. In 
the spring of 1917 the whole Empire was waiting 
with strained anticipation for the beginning 
of the Allied offensive in the West. Great 
hopes were built upon it. It was perfectly 
obvious that the, strategy of the offensive 
must have been determined long before the 
Imperial War Cabinet met. Its members 
could not conceivably affect or amend tluit 
strategy. It was unthinkable that they bhould 
attempt to impose their will upon Sir Douglas 
Haig, who was commanding the British Army 

in the West. By the beginning of 1917, too, 
the Dominion Armies hail long been in the field. 
The effect of their assistance had been measured 
by experience. Not that there was any 
disposition in Great Britain to underestimate 
their value ; very much the opposite. But 
it was by then a familiar thought that all 
the peoples of the Empire were in arms 

Yet harm was certainly done by the 
fact that when the Dominion Armies came 
into the field it was the British Government 
alone that controlled their destination and 
their movements. Gallipoli was a most bitter 
lesson of what that meant. Very little 
had been said openly about this aspect of that 
glorious but fruitless and terribly costly cam- 
paign. But we may be sure that it was not 
without, its effect and that that effect was 
wholly mischievous. However much people 
in England or in the Dominions might gloss 
it over, the fact remained that British Ministers 
had sent the first Australian contingent upon 
an expedition which, as subsequent investi- 
gation showed only too clearly, had been 
doomed by uncertainty, and by failure to 
reckon the true measure of its difficulties, 
right from the mitset. It might have made no 
difference to the actual result of the Gallipoli 
expedition if it had been designed and initiated 
by an Imperial War Council having an Austra- 
lian representative as one of its members. 
The hesitations and controversies which marred 
its beginning might have been just as many 
as they were. Its results might have been as 
small. But it would have made an immense 
difference to the whole Empire to know that 
the responsibility rested, not with British 
.Ministers only, but with an Imperial War 
Council. That is only one instance of the kind 
of effect which the summoning of an Imperial 
War Cabinet quite soon after the war began 
might have had. It is easy to, imagine many 
others. Possibly the effect would not have been 
so great or so beneficial as, in retrospect, it 
may seem likely to have been. An Imperial 
War Council would certainly not hive put 
everything right. The War Cabinet when it 
m?t did not find a remedy for everything that 
was wrong. Soon after it separated it was 
still possible for Mr. Holman, Premier of 
New South Wales, in the first public speech 
that he made after his arrival, to reveal the 
fact that the leaders of opinion in the Dominions 
had little more information about the real 



progress of the war than the man in tin- Mrect, 
tlmt what they <li<l know they got almost 
entirely from the newspapers, and that tlie 
result of leaving them thus without any special 
guidance or confidential information had been 
that they were unable themselves to give to 
their own people the lead which they would 
have liked to have given. 

However that mav be, there was really no 
reason whv an Imperial War Council should not 
have met quite early in 1915. The normal 

lEIliolt & Fry. 

Premier of New South Wales. 

meeting of the Imperial Conference, as a matter 
of fact, was due for that year, and it would have 
been the easiest thing in the world to have 
pruned its visual excesses of discussion and to 
have turned it into a businesslike conference of 
Imperial representatives for the settlement of 
Imperial policy and Imperial war measures. 
It was not for lack of suggestion that the 
Government of the day failed to take this very 
obvious step. In January, 1915, The Times 
urged the Government to consider whether it 
would not be the best thing to hold the Imperial 
Conference in its normal course, although the 
Empire was at war. This suggestion was 
discussed all through the Empire, and it 
must be said that the most general tendency 
was to think that the spring of 1915 was not a 
good time for the holding of an Imperial Con- 

ference. ' The main reason for this view was 
that the critics had not really troubled to 
understand the suggestion of The Times, and 
had assumed that what it was proposing was 
the usual sitting of the Imperial Conference, 
u it li all its traditional paraphernalia of agenda, 
and long, set discussions, and verbose but inef- 
fective resolutions, and banquets, and luncheons 
with more interminable speeches. As a matter 
of fact The Times had proposed nothing of the 
kind. In a leading article published on 
January 19, 1915, it answered the objections 
which had been made. It explained that it did 
not suggest the calling of an Imperial Con- 
ference in the ordinary sense. " Can anyone 
doubt," it asked, " that the meeting of the 
rspresentatives of the Dominions with Imperial 
Ministers would be an immense benefit to the 
cause of Imperial unity ? . . . From other 
points of view the meeting of the Conference 
would be equally advantageous. . . . The 
peoples of the Empire are fighting this war as 
one nation. Dissipation of effort, inconsisten- 
cies in administrations, overlapping, miscon- 
ceptions as to the best means of attaining the 
common end all these lessen the nation's 
fighting power. Yet, with the responsib'e 
authority divided between the Mother Country 
and the Dominions, and between the Do- 
minions themselves, such administrative handi- 
caps are certain to assert themselves. \Yhat is 
needed is an opportunity, as soon as possible 
this year, for adjusting the balance between 
these authorities and for co-ordinating what is 
being done at each of these widely separated 
centres. Correspondence is slow and notori- 
ously inadequate to deal with needs of this kind. 
A few days of personal intercourse between 
the men who are responsible would do more 
than reams of letters and floods of telegrams." 
Read to-day, these words seem the most 
obvious platitude. Yet at the time when they 
were written the arguments which they urged 
and the suggestion which they supported were 
scouted almost everywhere throughout the 
Empire. The only prominent statesmen who 
supported them were Mr. Fisher, then Prime 
Minister of the Australian Commonwealth, and 
Mr. Kowell, leader of the Liberal Party in the 
Province of Ontario, Canada. At the moment 
when the suggestion was made by The Times 
Mr. Kislier \\a- visiting New Zealand. He at 
once expressed the opinion that: "Many 
of our difficulties have arisen from the want of 
opportunities for the representatives of the 



Domin'ons to meet with those of the mother 
country. . . . The gravest issues can only 
be dealt with by cable, or by dispatches which 
do not arrive until a month has elapsed. In my 
opinion a Conference this year would be of more 
value for all parties concerned than any yet 
held." A month later Mr. Fisher returned to 
Australia. Pressure had evidently been put on 
him from Great Britain. He said that he and 
his Ministry were still convinced of the " extreme 
usefulness " of a Conference and that he be- 
lieved a great opportunity was being missed. 
But lie admitted that he was impressed by the 
inadvisability of " embarrassing the Imperial 
Government with a renewal of obviously unac- 
ceptable suggestions." In Canada, meanwhile, 
the reception of the suggestion had been very 
much less favourable than in Australia. Prac- 
tically all the leading men of the Dominion, were 
against it, and indeed, as Mr. Fisher had said, it 
was much easier for Canadian Ministers to keep 
in touch with the Imperial Government than it 
was for Ministers of more distant Dominions 
like Australia and New Zealand. The one 
dissentient in this chorus of disapproval, Mr. 
Rowell. emphasized particularly the value of 

an Imperial Conference in 1915 from a moral 
point of view : 

Can you [he asked] give to Germany, can you give to 
Europe, a more splendid manifestation of the unity of 
the Empire, and of the determination of all parts to 
see this fight through, than to have representatives 
from the Empire meet and take counsel together as to 
what we can all do and contribute to bring this conflict 
to a successful conclusion t I do hope that when other 
portions of the Empire are asking for this Conference, 
which by its constitution should be held this year, the 
Government of Canada will not drop the holding of 
this Imperial assembly for the benefit of the whole 

The Imperial Government, however, had 
made up their mind that they would not have 
the Imperial Conference meeting in 1915. To 
all suggestions of the kind they opposed the 
bland assumption that the Conference, if held in 
1915, must be the same kind of conference as it 
had always been, and could not be made into 
any other kind of conference or take more the 
form of a war council. This clinging to the 
idea of a " normal Conference " as the only kind 
of conference possible was conspicuous in a 
special statement on the matter made by Mr. 
Harcourt, still the Colonial Secretary, in the 
House of Commons on April 15, 1915. He 




declared that he would " state exactly what 
happened in relation to this matter " : 

After war had broken out His Majesty's Government 
assumed that it would not be for the convenience of 
any of the parties that the normal Conference should 
meet on its due date, which was May of this year, but 
no communications on the matter passed between us 
and the Dominion Governments. Early in December 
last I was made aware privately that Mr. Fisher, the 
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, was 
in favour of the meeting of the Imperial Conference 
lurinu and in spite of the war. I communicated this 
fact also privately by telegraph to the Prime Minisli-rs 
of all the other Dominions, and they unanimously 
agreed with us that the holding of a normal Conference 
this year during hostilities would be difficult if not 
impossible. In two cases at least it was said that the 
attendance of Ministers was impracticable. I then 
informed the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth 
that, in view of the practical unity of opinion, we hoped 
he would recognize its force, and he replied that he had 
no wish to press the matter farther. A few days ago 
Mr. Fisher was reported in the Press as saying with 
reference to the Imperial Conference " What the 
British Government considers to tie the correct thing 
is good enough for my Government. That is all I have 
to say." And i.i a pri.-ate letter to me, dated February 
15, he wrote : " I cheerfully fall in with the decision 
not to hold the Imperial Conference this year, though 
I have not been able to convince myself that the' reasons 
given for postponing it were sufficient. However, 
we have a policy for this trouble that gets over all 
difficulties. When the King's business will not fit in 
with our ideas, we do not press them" an admirable 
example of the spirit in which the Dominions deal with 
Imperial affairs during the war. 

An admirable example, indeed, and wholly 

beneficial to the Empire so Ion? as the wisdom 
and discretion of British Ministers were equal 
to the great responsibility laid upon them by 
this self-denying ordinance of Dominion Minis- 
ters. In this case the complacency with which 
Mr. Hareourt made his announcement on 
April 15, 1915, seems not so wholly justifiable 
as ho evidently believed it to be at the time. It 
certainly did not satisfy Axistralia, which 
understood perfectly well that Mr. Hareourt 
had begged the whole question, and that what 
Mr. Fisher had suggested had not been a 
" normal Conference," but a special war council 
in which war measures might be concerted by 
the leading men of the various parts of the 
Empire. Mr. Fisher, in fact, had said so 
without any equivocation. He had pointed 
out that all the accessories of the " normal 
Conference " were unessential and could easily 
be dispensed with ; and that what the Domi- 
nions wanted was to know the mind of the 
men who were conducting the war and what was 
going to be done when peace had to be made. 
This was exactly the business of the Imperial 
War Cabinet when it did meet in 1917. But at 
the beginning of 1915 the British Government 
of the day deliberately chose to ignore the 
possibility of holding such a Conference. They 




must bear the responsibility. It is no light 

Before the end of the year it was very 
generally recognized that a mistake had been 
made. One of the best illustrations of this 
change of view is a passage from a letter 
written to The Round Table by its Australian 
Correspondent in June, 1915 : 

What nobody seems to have emphasized [he wrote 1 
was that the Imperial Conference held as a Round Table 
War Conference would have provided an excellent 
opportunity for the statesmen of the Empire to get 
into closer touch with each other upon war subjects. 
The difficulties in the way of the British Government 
would have been explained, the requirements necessary 
to bring the war to a successful termination stated. 
Ways and means could have been discussed and the 
parts which the various Dominions might assume sug- 
gested. The Dominion Ministers would have come 
back from the centre of the Empire with their minds 
filled with only the one thing and with exact knowledge 
of how they could best serve the Empire. The wonder 
is not so much at the failure to hold the conference 
as that the five nations of the Empire should have 
even contemplated waging such a war with no machinery 
for continuous consultation and no definite arrange- 
ment as to mutual cooperation. 

This comment shows how completely the 
Imperial Government had been able to obscure 
the real nature of the suggestion for the holding 
of the Imperial Conference in 1915 by their 
insistence upon a " normal Conference." Either 
they failed to understand what the suggestion 
really was a supposition which is hardly 
reconcilable with the recognized ability of Mr. 
Harcourt or, not wanting to undertake the 
additional work which the presence in England 
of Dominion Ministers would have laid upon 
them, they deliberately misrepresented the 
nature of the suggested Empire Council. The 
strangest thing about their action at the time 
is that they seem to have thought that the 
only thing which the Dominions needed to be 
consulted about was the terms of peace. Thus 
on February 4, 1915, Mr. Harcourt was asked in 
the House of Commons whether an Imperial 
Conference would be held that year. He 
replied that " In consultation with all the 
Dominions it has been decided that it is unde- 
sirable to hold the normal meeting of the 
Imperial Conference this year." On April 15, 
1915, he was asked whether he could give the 
House any further information as to the post- 
ponement of the Imperial Conference. He 
replied by making the special statement which 
has already been quoted. To that statement 
he added this comment : 

In all these communications I have referred only to 
what I have carefully called the " normal Conference." 
by which I mean a full conference with all the para. 

phernaliaof miscellaneous resolutions, protracted sittings, 
shorthand reports, and resulting blue-books. This is 
the sort of conference which we thought unsuited to 
present conditions, but in January, when intimating 
its postponement to the various Dominions, I telegraphed 
to each of the Governors-General : " Will you, at the 
same time, inform your Prime Minister that it is the 
intention of His Majesty's Government to consult him 
most fully, and, if possible, personally when the time 
arrives to discuss possible terms of peace ? " 

I need hardly add that His Majesty's Government 
intend to observe the spirit as well as the letter of this 
declaration, which I believe has given complete satis 
faction to the Governments of the Dominions. 

Thus the Imperial Government, in the spring 
of 1915, seem to have assumed that there was 



Australian High Commissioner in London and 
forraer Prime Minister of the Commonwealth. 

no need to consult the Dominions about the 
carrying on of the war, to have believed that 
they need only be consulted when peace came 
to be considered, and to have satisfied them- 
selves that this assumption was as acceptable 
to the Ministers of all the Dominions as it was 
to them. Certainly no Dominion Ministry 
showed itself -determined at that time to 
insist upon consultation for war purposes. 
They may well have thought that the war 
would have little effect upon the internal 
polities of t heir own countries, and that, beyond 
the sending of contingents and the raising of re- 
inforcements, the normal life of the Dominions 



would go on much as usual. Each one of them 
\vivs to be undeceived, if they believed that 
and were really completely satisfied, as Mr. 
Harcourt declared they were, with the promise 
of the Imperial Government that they should 
be consulted about the terms of peace. 

It is impossible, in the scope of this Chapter, 
to describe with any completeness the intimate 
reactions of the war upon the life of the 

Canadian Minister of Marine and Naval Service. 

Dominion peoples. Upon each of them its 
effect came gradually, but more and more 
heavily. As their contingents reached the 
battlefield, and as the casualty lists began to 
come in, the Dominions grew slowly to realize 
that there was hardly a household throughout 
the Empire which the war would leave un- 
touched. Their fortitude under these losses, 
their abounding generosity in charitable gifts 
to alleviate the sufferings of war-stricken 
Europe, their eagerness to contribute of their 
money to the financial resovirces of the Empire 
the tale of these has already been told. It 
must suffice here to trace in the barest outline 
the reaction of the war upon the political life 
of the Dominions, .and this can only be done 
by taking each one separately. 

In Canada, from the moment of the first 
outbreak of the war a truce was concluded 
between the two great political parties. Sir 

Wilfrid Laurier, the loader of the Liberal 
Opposition in the Dominion Parliament, imme- 
diately announced that, irrespective of political 
advantage, he would support Sir Robert 
Borden, the Prime Minister, in all war measures. 
Again and again Sir Wilfrid Laurier asserted 
this principle One of the most striking of the 
expressions which he gave to it was in a speech 
made in the second half of 1915 : 

I affirm with ali my power that it is the duty of Canada 
to give to Great Britain in this war all the assistance 
that is in the power of Canada. My confidence in tho 
present Government at Ottawa does not ooze from thu 
soles of my boots, but at the outbreak of war I con- 
sidered it my duty to support it in its war policy. I 
have supported it in that policy ever since, and I will 
support it again. The reason is that this war is a 
contest between German institutions and British 
institutions. British institutions mean freedom. German 
institutions mean despotism. That is why we, as Cana- 
dians, have such a vital interest in this war. 

A few months later Sir Wilfrid Laurier 
again asserted this principle of support for the 
Government of Sir Robert Borden : 

I am the chief of the Liberal Party, and as long as I 
have the honour of presiding over the destinies of the 
Liberal Party it will not seek a triumph by taking 
advantage of the situation at present existing. . . , 
When the war started what should have been the atti- 
tude of the Liberal Party ? I have already told you 
that the Liberal idea was a passion for right and justice. 
Britain to-day is fighting in Europe for these ideas. 
Britain did not seek this war, but rather sought to 
avoid it, and she could have avoided it if she had wished 
to accept the shameful proposal of Germany. But she 
did not do so, and to-day she is fighting for the inde- 
pendence of Belgium and for the integrity of France and 
to save civilization. That is why I declared that I 
would support the Government of Canada, and that 
Canada would participate with all her forces in this 
glorious undertaking. You may say that I have spoken 
on this war only in regard to civilization, which is, 
no doubt, great, but what will it be for Canada ; cannot 
Canada stand aside ? No, it cannot. 

Thus the party truce in Canada was suffici- 
ently firmly established to secure for Sir 
Robert Borden the support of the Liberals in 
all the war measures that were necessary up 
to the end of 1916. In the normal course there 
would have been an election in Canada for the 
Dominion Parliament in the autumn of 191(5. 
Tho party truce was solid enough to enable a 
compromise about this election to be secured. 
By mutual agreement the election was post- 
poned for one year, and the statutory consent 
of the Imperial Parliament, which was necessary 
under the Dominion constitution, was givei 
without criticism or comment. Nevertheless, 
there were elements in the compact of the 
two parties which always suggested that if 
the war should put too heavy a strain upon it, 
it might break down. Quite early in 1915 
Sir Wilfrid Laurier insisted in a speech at 



Montreal that the decision of Canada to take 
part in the war had been a free and unfettered 
decision : 

There arose the question whether or not wo were 
bound to take part in the war. Everybody admits 

institutions. Ycu find from the bottom rung of the 
ladder to the top freedom in everything. There is no 
conscription in Great Britain. There never was, there 
never will be. ... Freedom breeds loyalty. Coercion 
always was the mother of resistance and rebellion. 

As time went on tho Liberal Party in Canada 


JULY 29, 1915. 
Leaving the Guildhall with the Lord Mayor. 

that we were bound to defend our own shores, our 
trade, our commerce ; to provide against the possi- 
bility of a raid ; and to repel an invasion if that should 
happen. But were we bound to send troops to the 
front ? . . . There is no need to go to constitutional 
or natural law to settle that question. We are a free 
people, absolutely free. The charter under which we 
live has put it in our power to decide whether we should 
take part in such a war or not. It is for the Canadian 
people, the Canadian Parliament, the Canadian Govern- 
ment, to decide. This freedom is at once the glory and 
honour of England, which has granted it ; and of 
Canada, which uses it to assist England. We are abso- 
lutely free. Freedom is a concomitant of all British 

began to emphasize more and more this com- 
plete freedom, as they held it, of Canada to 
decide her own fate. They consistently de- 
clared it to be completely consistent with the 
whole-hearted support of Great Britain in 
the war. But it became clearer and clearer 
that a time might come when the call which 
Great Britain might have to make upon Canada 
would shock these Liberal ideas. In the 
autumn of 1910 it was apparent that this tuue 





was approaching. It was getting more and 
more difficult for Canada to maintain the flow 
of reinforcements to the front. Two utter- 
ances of Canadian public men about this time 
will show by their contrast how thin the political 
truce was becoming. The first is from a re- 
cruiting appeal made by the Prime Minister : 

Under the responsibilities with which I am invested, 
ami in the name of the State, which we are all bound 
in -rrve, it is my duty to appeal, and I do now appeal, 
most earnestly to the people of Canada that they assist 
iind cooperate with the Government and the Directors 
of National Service. . . . To men of military age I 
make appeal that they place themselves at the service 
of the State for military duty. To alt others I make 
appeal that they place themselves freely at the disposition 
of their country for such service as they are deemed 
b -st fitted to perform. . . . 

The other is an extract from the speech made 
by Sir Wilfrid Laurier : 

I abato not a jot of my life-long profession, reiterated 
in the House of Commons and upon many a platform 
nf ilii- rountry, that I am a pacifist. I have always 
been against tnilittirism, and I see no reason why I should 
ciumpe, but still stand true to the professions of my 
whole life. 

It was, in fact, plain that if it became 
necessary for the Canadian Government under 
Sir Robert Borden to ask for conscription as 
the only condition for keeping up Canadian 
reinforcements at the front, that demand 
woul'.l bring them into almost inevitable conflict 

with the majority of the Liberal Party. It was 
at this time that the Canadian Correspondent 
of The Round Table felt compelled fo insist 
upon the difficulty of conscription in Canada : 

The most profound students of the situation in Canada 
[he said in an article written in October, 1916] regard 
conscription as impracticable. In the Dominion there 
are 3,000,000 people who do not habitually speak the 
Knglish language. There are nearly 700,000 Germans 
and Austrians. There are at least 700,000 or 800,0(10 
Americans, many of whom live in compact settlements 

in Western Canada. .Many of these have i ie to this 

country during the last 10 or 12 years, and one quest inn-; 
if it would bo fair or reasonable to conscript them for a 
war in Kurope. Many of these new citizens of Canada 
perhaps hardly yet regard themselves as citi/.ens of the 
Hritish Empire. . . . Over solid blocks of Germans 
and Austrian* in the Western 1'rovinces there has 
been more apprehension than has been admitted, 
while it is impossible to contend that conscription would 
not excite deep hostility in Quebec. 

Nevertheless, it seemed more and more 
certain, towards the end of 1916, that the 
Government of Sir Robert Borden would have 
to declare for conscription. In that case, tho 
attitude of Sir Wilfrid Laurier could hardly be 
doubtful. Alums! certainly lie would resist, 
and the party truce would then break down. 

In Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, 
as much as in Canada, the war led to an im- 
mediate truce between the two main political 



parties. In New Zealand and Australia the 
truce passed into a formal coalition. In 
South Africa formal coalition was impossible, 
or, if possible, was so difficult to bring about 
that it was deliberately left on one side in 
favour of the working arrangement which 
served to keep the Botha Government in power. 
In all these three Dominions, too, as in Canada, 
there was a dissentient minority, not very 
formidable and unable at any moment to con- 
trol the government of the country, but still 
sufficiently strong to be a factor. 

In South Africa an election was due in the 
autumn of 1915. The first Parliament of the 
Union had been elected in the middle of Sep- 
tember, 1910, for five years. There was no 
thought here of putting off the election, as 
was afterwards done in Canada. The Nationalist 
party, led by General Hertzog, was deter- 
mined to do its best to oust the Botha Govern- 
ment. General Botha, faced by this threat of 
uncompromising opposition from a large section 
of his own people, came to a tacit agreement 
with the Unionists. At one time it seemed 
probable that the Labour Party would exercise 
a considerable influence on the election ; but 
their leader, Mr. Creswell, had been at the 
front in German South- West Africa, and in 

his absence the extreme Socialist section of the 
Party had compromised itself with the elec- 
torate by exhibiting pronounced pacifist tenden- 
Cttt. In the result the Labour Party was 
utterly defeated by the Unionists in the urban 
constituencies, Mr. Creswell himself failing 
in two constituencies which he contested. 
The consequence of this was that the 
Unionists, with 40 members, were almost as 
strong in the House of Assembly as General 
Botha's party with 54 seats. On local issues 
there were many points of difference between 
them, but they were united in the resolve 
to prosecute the war to the end, and they 
had a crushing majority on this supreme issue 
over the Nationalists. The Nationalists had 
shown that in the country districts, where the 
electorate was predominantly Dutch-speaking, 
they were able to shake General Botha's 
prestige very seriously. They won 27 seats, 
and would have won many more if the Knglish 
element in a number of these country constitu- 
encies had abstained from voting, instead of 
supporting General Botha's candidate on the 
war issue. But, though this was a disconcert- 
ing element in the elections for General Botha 
himself, he was at least certain of office so long 
as the Unionists continued to support him ; 





The smaller illustration shows the central 


and that support was his while he remained 
firm in his adherence to the war objects of the 
Imperial Government. The alliance thus 
formed between General Botha and the 
Unionists was uneasy in its working at times. 
It was tested severely, for instance, by General 
Botha's refusal to pay the South African con- 
tingent in Europe Colonial rates of pay on the 
same scale as the South African troops who 
fought in German South-West and East Africa 
were getting. But even on a point of this kind, 
when every instinct of the Unionists, to say 
nothing of their explicit election pledges, 




arged them to vote against General Botha, they 
nevertheless refrained from doing so, realizing 
that his staunchness on the war issue in general 
merited their support of his Government at the 
price of any of their less essential objects. 

In New Zealand, far more than in South 
Africa, there was whole-hearted unanimity of 
the very great majority of the people in sup- 
port of the war. An insignificant section of 
Labour extremists did oppose it, but with hesi- 
tation and without any real fervour. The 
trouble in New Zealand was that the two 
Parties were so narrowly divided in Parliament, 
as far as numbers were concerned, and were so 
thoroughly agreed on the whole question of 
the war, that it seemed absurd to maintain 
all the useless and, in their case, meaningless 
distinction of Government and Opposition. 
Coalition was obviously desirable, yet it 
was a long time before coalition could be 
brought about. In June, 1915, Mr. Massey, 
the Prime Minister, invited Sir Joseph Ward, 
leader of the Opposition, to confer about the 
formation of a National Cabinet. When the 
conference met it was found that Mr. Massey 
had offered the Opposition five seats in a 
Cabinet of eleven. The two parties were 
practically equal in the House, and the Oppo- 
sition rejected the offer, thinking that there 
should be equality of representation in any 
Coalition Government. At this juncture the 
Governor intervened and called another con- 
ference at Government House, Wellington, 
which met on August 2. Prompt agreement 
was the result. The new Coalition Cabinet 
contained five members of each Party, while 
there were two Ministers without portfolio. Mr. 
Massey remained Prime Minister. Colonel 
Allen, who had been the strong man of Mr. 
Massey 's Cabinet as Minister of Defence, re- 
tained that office. Sir Joseph Ward, the 
Opposition leader, took the important portfolio 
of Finance, and the new Cabinet settled down to 
a peaceful, if not very adventurous, career, in 
complete forgetfulness of the local controversies 
which hud divided its members. 

Its one great task was to keep up reinforce- 
ments for the New Zealand Contingent in 
Europe. By the middle of May, 1910, as a New 
Zealand correspondent wrote to The Times, 
New Zealand, out of a population of 1,000. Odd. 
had a force of 50,000 men under arms, with 
37,000 actually in the field. It was not easy 
to obtain by the voluntary system the monthly 

drafts which were necessary to keep this con- 
tingent at its full strength. At the end of May, 
1916, a Compulsion Bill was introduced by 
Colonel Allen. The Labour minority moved a 
hostile amendment to the second reading, but 
could only muster five votes as against 54 in 
support of it. The Bill went through with 

Prime Minister of South Africa. 

very little difficulty. For a time it was not 
put into force, and the Coalition Govern- 
ment seemed disposed to preen itself on 
having compulsion merely as a resource 
held in reserve and not really required 
because of the complete success of the 
voluntary system. But, though the Ministry 
kept up this profession as long as they possibly 
could, everybody knew that the voluntary 
system had failed, as it had failed in England, 
und as it was bound to fail irt Xew Zealand 
when subjected to such a severe' te.-t. By the 
end of August, 1916, it had been decided to 
proclaim enrolment under the Compulsion 
An. The' proclamation was issued on Sep- 
tember 2. But voluntary recruiting went 
oil. though with less and less success, till 
the middle of November, 1916. When 
compulsion was at last enforced there were 
1,369 men short in the drafts which were to 
make up the 23rd and 24th reinforcements. 
Only four of tli" 21 recruiting districts in the 
Dominion had filler! their <|iic>';><. The Act 





The new freemen leaving the Usher Hall with the Lord Provost after the ceremony. 

provided that a ballot should be taken in all 
the districts which had not supplied the full 
quota. The first ballot was taken on Novem- 
ber 16, 17, and 18. The number actually drawn 
4,000 was nearly three times as great as the 
number of vacancies to be filled. This liberal 
margin was to provide for losses through medical 
unfitness or exemption. The first ballot was 
watched very calmly by the people of the 
Dominion. The New Zealand correspondent of 
The Times wrote on December 7 that " the 
general feeling is one of satisfaction that a 
fairer, more democratic, and more businesslike 
method has been substituted for the uncer- 
tainties and injustices of the voluntary system." 
He explained, too, that " the intention is to 
continue voluntary enlistment for each monthly 
quota, but to close it down on a fixed date in 
every month and fill up the shortage by a com- 
pulsory ballot. This direct and regular process 
will dispense with the methods of moral suasion 
and indirect compulsion which had been found 
irksome, wasteful, and capricious." 

In Australia the war produced reactions, as 
far as local politics were concerned, far more 
profound than in any other Dominion. When 
it broke out the Liberals were in power, with 
Mr. Cook as I'rime Minister. But within a 
few months a General Election put the Libour 

Party in their place. Mr. Fisher, the Labour 
leader, became Prime Minister, with Mr. W. M. 
Hughes, his Attorney-General, as his right-hand 
man. Before this election there was some 
attempt to bring about a compromise between 
the two parties on a Coalition basis. What 
actually took place is not very clear, though it 
seems certain that Mr. Hughes did make some 
kind of offer of a compromise to the Liberals. 
Mr. Fisher himself seems to have been opposed 
to the idea. He might have been converted to 
it if the Liberals had responded, though he was 
a stubborn man not at all prone to alter his 
convictions. In any case whatever the offer 
that was made, Mr. Cook refused it altogether, 
went to the polls, and was handsomely beaten. 
At the end of 1915 Mr. Fisher resigned the 
1'rime Ministership and went to London as 
High Commissioner for the Commonwealth. 
Mr. Hughes was his natural successor. He had 
hardly assumed office before a pressing invita- 
tion from the Imperial Government to come to 
London to consult about war measures brought 
him to Great Britain. On his way he passed 
through Canada, where he was sworn of the 
Canadian Privy Council and took part in a 
meeting of the Canadian Cabinet. This was 
in February 1910. Arrived in London, Mr. 
Hughes attended the British Cabinet, as Sir 
Robert Borden had done the year before. He 



made an immense impression in Great Britain, 
delivering a succession of speeches which aroused 
great enthusiasm by their energy, their elo- 
quence, and their expression of an uncom- 
promising resolve to carry the war through to 
the end. In his relations with the British 
Cabinet Mr. Hughes occupied a position of 
greater authority than any Dominion Prime 
Minister who had visited Great Britain before. 
It was understood that he spoke not only for 
Australia but to some extent for New Zealand 
as well. This was certainly so in all questions 
which involved the common interest of the two 
.Dominions, such as sea power in the Pacific, the 
provision of transport for supplies from 
Australia and New Zealand, and so on. He had 
the advantage, too, of having passed through 
Canada on his way to England, and his meetings 
with Canadian Ministers gave him some right 
to speak with a kind of delegated authority for 
that Government as well. With some reluc 
tance, as it appeared, Mr. Asquith, who was 
then Prime Minister of Great Britain, invited 
Mr. Hughes to attend the economic conference 
of the Allies at Paris as the representative of 
Australia. Canada was represented at this 
conference by Sir George Foster, Minister of 

Commerce. The attendance of Mr. Hughes and 
Sir George Foster at the Paris Conference was 
an innovation of considerable importance. lt> 
results were not apparent immediately, but it 
clearly contained the germ of very important 
subsequent development*.* 

The prestige which Mr. Hughes won for 
himself in Great Britain had peculiar results 
when he returned to Australia at the end of 
August 1916. Already there had been signs of 
a strong movement in Australia towards com- 
pulsory service. The example of Great Britain 
and of New Zealand had had its effect, and it 
was becoming obvious that the voluntary 
system would only provide the reinforcements 
necessary to maintain the Australian divisions 
at the front at the cost of superhuman 
efforts, constant friction, and all those un- 
pleasant elements of unfairness and dis- 
guised compulsion which had attended its 
later stages both in Great Britain and in New 
Zealand. Mr. Hughes went back to Australia 
firmly convinced that compulsion was necessary. 
He found at once that he had a task of great 
difficulty before him. A very strong element 
in the Labour Party, of which he was the 
* See Vol. X," page 341. 




leader, was bitterly opposed to compulsion 
Kvi-ii before he left for England, he had found it 
necessary to denounce quite openly, and with 
his habitual vigour of language, the extreme 
Socialist section of his own party. The 
denunciation did not do much good. It was 
not likely to convert the Socialist extremists, 
and they used the opportunity of his absence in 
England to consolidate their influence with the 

Eiliutt & Fry 

Prime Minister of Australia. 

Labour Party and to establish themselves 
firmly in possession of its fighting organization 
throughout the Commonwealth. When Mr. 
Hughes returned and sounded his Parliamentary 
following on the question of compulsion he 
found that he could only command about half 
the Labour members of the Lower House, 
while in the Senate his opponents were alto- 
gether too strong for him. It seems likely that 
In could have relied on the support of the 
Liberals under Mr. Cook to force a Compulsion 
Bill through the Lower House, but the Liberal 
.-ti-cngth in the Senate was not sufficient to 
counterbalance his opponents there. He de- 
cided on a compromise. The question of 
compulsion was to he submitted to a referendum 
nl' the electorate ; and he managed, though not 
without difficulty, to get the Bill authorizing 
this referendum through both Houses of the 
Commonwealth legislature. But in the mean- 

time the Labour extremists had gone to the 
utmost lengths in their opposition to him. 
Their control of the Labour machine enabled 
them to expel Mr. Hughes and those who 
followed him on the conscription issue from the 
Party. When the referendum campaign began 
Mr. Hughes found himself pursued with the 
utmost extreme of invective and abuse by his 
old Labour colleagues. The referendum was 

[Elliott* Fly 

Canadian Minister of Trade and Commerce. 

fought with great bitterness throughout the 
Commonwealth. Mr. Hughes himself, it must 
be admitted, did not show at his best during the 
campaign. He had never been noted for his 
tact and he found it difficult to submit with 
trood grace to the stream of personal abuse that 
flowed against him. As soon as the figures of 
the referendum began to be counted, it was 
clear that lie had been defeated. The chief 
adverse vote \viis in New South Wales. It was 
sufficient to counterbalance a favourable ma- 
jority in the other States. When the final 
figures came to be counted it was found that a 
majority of 61,000 had voted against con- 

This was at the end of November. Before 
the year was out it was quite clear that one 
result of the referendum must be a political 
combination between Mr. Hughes and the 
Liberals. Again Mr. Hughes showed no 



skill in conducting the negotiation, which 
began towards the end of 1916. His party in 
Parliament was reduced to an almost insignifi- 
cant minority, but he behaved as though he 
had a majority at his back, and began the 
negotiations by putting forward demands to 
which the Liberals could not possibly be 
expected to agree. It was at this moment that 
the invitation of the British Government to 
Australia to send representatives to the War 
Cabinet was received. For the moment the 
importance of the invitation seen e:l to escape 
all the leading statesmen of Australia. There 
was some excuse for this. The Imperial 
Government, as has been shown above, had la- 
boured at the beginning of 1915 to prove that 
a meeting of Dominion representatives was 
impossible in war time. If it was out of the 
question at the beginning of 1915, it was 
natural for Australia to think that it was 
equally out of the question at the beginning of 
1917. Thus there was a decided tendency in 
Australia to regard the invitation merely as an 
advertising dodge of the new British Govern- 
ment xmder Mr. Lloyd George, and to discount 
it severely for that reason. But wiser views 
soon prevailed. By the middle of January, 
1917, Mr. Hughes had shown that, however 
weak he might be in Parliament, he had very 
substantial support throughout the country. 
He formed a national organization which was 
supported by many prominent men in each 
State. He carried with him the Premiers of New 
South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western 

Australia, and Tasmania. Mr. J. C. Watson, 
who had been Labour Prime Minister of the 
Commonwealth, and was one of the most 
influential men in Australia, went with him. 
The programme of the new organization was 
summed up as a " win-the-war " policy. It 
soon became clear that the Liberals could not 
contimie to hold aloof from negotiations with 
such an organization. Towards the end of 
January they suggested that a National 
Government should be formed consisting of 
representatives -from each of the three parties. 
Mr. Hughes and his followers approved of this 
suggestion. The Labour extremists, who had 
elected Mr. Tudor as their leader, refused 
By the middle of February terms had been 
agreed upon between Mr. Hughes and the 
Liberals, and a Coalition Ministry been formed. 
Mr. Hughes remained Prime Minister. Mr. 
Cook became Minister for the Navy. Mr. 
Pearce retained the Ministry of Defence. 
Everything seemed to tend towards the proper 
representation of Australia at the Imperial 
War Cabinet. Mr. Hughes intended to go him- 
self, and had asked Sir William Irvine, one of 
the ablest and most respected of the Liberals, 
to go with him. 

But difficult questions of local politics had to 
be settled first. An election was coining on, and 
unless it could be postponed, it would be 
impossible for Mr. Hughes to go to England. 
The Coalition Ministry brought forward a 
motion that the Imperial Parliament should be 
asked to extend, the life of the Commonwealth 


On the site of the proposed Federal Capital, Canberra. 



Parliament until October 8, 1917, or until six 
months after the declaration of peace, which- 
ever should come first. In the House of Repre- 
sentatives, where the ne\v Ministry had a 
strong majority, this motion was easily carried. 
But in the Senate the Labour extremists win- 
still in the ascendant. Then- was a sordid 
squabble before the motion came to the vote, 
and charges were made against Mr. Hughes of 
having tried to corrupt some of his opponents 
in the Senate in order to secure their support. 
The result was that it became impossible to 



(after receiving the Freedom of the City of London) 
leaving the Guildhall with Lord Mayor Wakefield. 

postpone the General Election. An election in 
the near foreground meant that Mr. Hughes 
could not go to England. The election took 
place at the beginning of May. The omens 
were favourable. In New South Wales a 
Coalition Ministry under Mr. Holman had 
defeated the Labour Kxtremists at a General 
Election of the State electorate six weeks before. 
The victory of the National Party in the 
Commonwealth elections was considerably more 
sweeping. Mr. Hughes and Mr. Cook together 
had had a majority in the Lower House before 
the election of 23. They increased it by 2. 

In the Senate they turned a minority of one 
into a majority of 10. Thus the Coalition 
was firmly established in Australia The. 
Extreme Labour Party were severely defeated 
on the clear issue of keeping nothing back 
which the war demanded from Australia. 
Immediate steps were taken to consolidate the 
organization of the new Party throughout the 
Commonwealth, and Mr. Hughes addressed 
himself to the problem of obtaining the recruits 
necessary to fill the Australian divisions at 
the front. 

Thvis in all the Dominions except Newfound- 
land the war had made its mark upon political 
life by the end of 1916. In Newfoundland the 
population was small. The people had sent to 
the front a contingent which represented a very 
creditable proportion of their numbers. Their 
men had done splendidly. There was absolute 
unanimity about the war in Newfoundland, 
and the Government, under the shield of that 
unanimity, went on very much as it had done 
before August, 1914. In the other Dominions 
it had been necessary to modify the pre-war 
form of governing institutions. The old lines 
of division between parties had gradually been 
shadowed and altered. In each case a dis- 
sentient minority grumbled and intrigued 
against the Cabinet in power without the 
chance of doing much real harm, but able to 
make a good deal of mischief, and a constant 
reminder to the majority of the need to subor- 
dinate local interests to the war-aims of the 

Yet, though the British Government must 
have known of these effects of the war upon the 
Dominions, they behaved, till the end of 1916, 
as though there was no need to revise the old 
traditions of intercourse between the ruling 
bodies of the Empire. They lost no occasion 
to pay verbal tribute to the military 
effort of the Dominions. Anything more they 
seem to have thought quite superfluous. The 
result was real harm. The Dominion Govern- 
ments chafed under the feeling that they were 
not trusted. Their efforts were handicapped 
because they did not know the mind of the 
British' Government. They found it difficult 
to shape their own policy or to lead their people 
because they were left in the dark about the 
objects, beliefs and policy of the British Govern- 
ment. Probably the truth is that British 
Ministers hardly knew their own minds till 
1916 was almost ended. They were incura- 



bly optimistic a tendency which, it must be 
admitted, they shared with their military and 
financial advisers. It may be that they derived 
it from them. In any case they left the 
Dominion Governments very much to their 
own devices and made no attempt to enlist 
them as participating departments, so to speak, 
in the war government of the Empire. 

Prime Minister of Newfoundland. 

It is true that when Dominion Prime Min- 
isters visited England they were admitted to 
Cabinet meetings. This privilege was extended 
to Sir Robert Borden in July 1915, to Mr. 
Hughes in 1916, and to Mr. Massey and Sir 
Joseph Ward, from New Zealand, later in the 
same year. This was a step forward. It 
brought these Dominion Prime Ministers into 
touch with war difficulties as they were seen by 
the Cabinet, and it must have given British 
Ministers some idea of Dominion difficulties. 
But the Dominion men went to the British 
Cabinet as guests, not as members. They went 
to learn and, in a lesser degree, to advise. 
There was no approach till the end of 1916 to 
the creation of a single executive authority for 
the whole Empire. 

Long before this Dominion Ministers hed 
warned the British Government that this must 
come. ( They said nothing explicit, and they 
were quite content to keep the whole question 
in the background till the war ended. But 

they gave broad hints. The real difficulty was 
how to create a single executive authority for 
the whole Empire an Imperial War Cabinet 
without raising the whole issue of the consti- 
tutional position of the Dominions as to 
foreign policy and the major issues of war and 
peace. The Dominion leaders were quite clear 
that that issue could not be raised during the 
war. But they were equally clear that the 
share which the Dominions were taking in the 
war made a revision of the British Govern- 
ment's monopoly of executive power for the 
whole Empire necessary. It was easy to express 
the first thought. To have expressed the 
second might well have been indiscreet. But it 
lurks behind the entirely proper references 
made to the Imperial problem by Sir Robert 
Borden during his visit in 1915. 

While the awful (shadow of this war overhangs our 
Empire [he said in the speech which he made when 
presented with the Freedom of the City of London] 
I shall not pause to speak of what may be evolved 
in its constitutional relations. Upon what has been 
built in the past it is possible, in my judgment, that 
an even nobler and more enduring fabric may be erected. 


Australian Minister of Defence. 

That structure must embody (hi- autonomy of the 
self-governing Dominions and of Che Hritish Isles as 
well, but it must also embody the majesty rand power 
of an Empire united by ties such as those of which I 
have spoken, and more thoroughly and effectively 
organized for the purpose of preserving its own existcn. <. 
Those who shall be the architects of this monument will 
have a great part to play, and I do not doubt that they 
will play it worthily. To those who shall be oallfd 
to design so splendid a fabric, crowning Ihf labours of 
the past and embodying all the hopes of the future, 
we all of us bid God speed in their great task. 

The point, indeed, had had its place in the 
statement which he made when he arrived in 
England : 

Great questions touching the .status of the Dominions 
of the Empire and theirconstitutional rclation'to each 



other will arisp after the war. Upon such questions 
it would be idlo and undesirable to dwell at present. 
We do not doubt that a satisfactory solution will be 
found ; but, in the meantime, the supreme issue of the. 
war must be our only concern. 

And he returned to it again in a speech to the 
Empire Parliamentary Association : 

In the later days when peace comes to be proclaimed, 
and after the conclusion of peace, it is beyond question 
that large matters will come up for consideration by the 
statesmen of the United Kingdom and the oversea 
Dominions. It is not desirable, nor perhaps becoming, 
that I should dwell upon these considerations to-day. 

The great merit of the summons to an 
Imperial War Cabinet, sent to the Dominions 
by Mr. Lloyd George on Christmas Day, 1916, 
was that it created an executive authority for 
the war purposes of the Empire while leaving 
the constitutional issue in abeyance. This 
essential truth about the Imperial War Cabinet 
was excellently put by Sir Robert Borden in 
a speech to the Empire Parliamentary Associa- 
tion, made while the Imperial Cabinet was still 
sitting : 

We have gathered together here from the ends of the 
earth to take counsel with you of the Mother Land upon 
the needs of the situation so as better to coordinate 
our common effort and consummate our common purpose. 
When first I spoke to you in 1912 I took leave to put 
forward certain views respecting future constitutional 
relations. Two years ago I emphasized the same 
considerations without dwelling upon them. The pur- 
pose which I then had at heart still remains steadfast. 
It may be that in the shadow of the war we do not 
clearly realize the measure of recent constitutional 
development. I shall not attempt to anticipate any 
conclusion which may be reached by the Imperial War 
Conference now sitting in London, a conference em- 
bracing India, now for the Cist time taking her place 
at the national council of Empire, as well as all the great 
Dominions except Australia, whose absence is deeply 
regretted. Except with regard to India the summoning 
ot that conference does not mark a new stage of Con- 
stitutional development. Its present duty is to consider 
and, where necessary, to determine general questions 
of common concern which in some cases have an intimate 
relation to the war and to the conditions which will arise 
upon its conclusion. 

Without further reieronce to the Imperial War 
Conference I address myself to the Constitutional 
position which lias arisen from the summoning of an 
Imperial War Cabinet. The British Constitution is 
the most flexible instrument ot government ever devised. 
Jt is surrounded by certain statutory limitations, but 
they are not of a character to prevent the remarkable 
development to which I shall allude. The oflice of 
Prime Minister, thoroughly recognized by the gradually 
developed conventions of the Constitution, although 
entirely unknown to the formal enactments of the law, 
is invested with a power and authority which under 
new Conditions, demanding progress and development, 
are of inestimable advantage. The recent exercise of 
that great authority has brought about an advance 
which may contain the germ and define the method of 
< on -t itutional development in the immediate future. 
It is only within the p<vrt few days that the full measure 
ot that advance has been consummated. 

For the first time in the Empire's history there are 
sitting in London two Cabinets, both properly con- 
stunted and both exercising well-defined powers. Over 
each of them the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 

presides. One of them is designated as the " War 
Cabinet," which chiefly devotes itself to such questions 
tonching.thc prosecution of the war as primarily concern 
the United Kingdom. The other is designated as the 
"Imperial War Cabinet," which has wider purpose, 
jurisdiction, and prr*n tiiel. To its deliberations have 
been summoned repre ;entatives of all the Empire's 
self-governing Domini. ms. We meet there on terms 
of equality under the presidency of the First Minister of 
the United Kingdom ; we meet there as equals, although 
(Ircivt Britain presides, primus intrr purr.*. .Ministers 
from six nations sil around the council board, all of them 
responsible to their respective Parliaments and to the 
people of the countries which they represent. Each 
nation has its voice upon question.- of common concern 
and highest importance as the deliberations proceed : 
each preserves unimpaired its perfect autonomv, its 
self-government, and the responsibility of its Ministers 
to their own electorate. For many years the thought 
of statesmen and students in every part of the Empire 
has centred around the question of future Constitutional 
relations ; it may be that now. as in the past, the 
necessity imposed by great events has given the answer. 
The Imperial War Cabinet as constituted to-day has 
been summoned for definite and specific purposes, 
publicly staled, which involve questions of the most 
vital concern to the whole Empire. With the constitution 
of that Cabinet a new era has dawned and a new page of 
history has been written. Tt is not for me to propbesy 
as to the future significance of these pregnant events : 
but those who havj given thought and energy to every 
effort for full Constitutional development of the oversea 
nations may be pardoned for believing that they discern 
therein the birth of a new and greater Imperial Common- 

Indeed, the same thought was expressed, 
though not so explicitly, in the invitation to 
the Dominions. It was sent, as form required, 
through the Colonial Secretary : 

I wish to explain that what His Majesty's Government 
contemplate is not a sessio i of the ordinary Imperial 
Conference, but a special War Conference of the Err.pire. 
They therefore invite your Prime Minister to attend a 
series of special and continuous meetings of the War 
Cabinet, in order to consider urgent questions affecting 
the prosecution of the war, the possible conditions of 
which, in agreement with our Allies, we could assent to 
its termination, and the problems which will then 
immediately arise. For the purpose of these meetings 
your Prime Minister would be a member of the War 

In view of the extreme urgency of the subjects of dis- 
cussion as well as of their supreme importance, it is 
hoped that your Prime Minister may find it possible, in 
spite of the serious inconvenience involved, to attend 
at an early date, not later than the end of February. 
While His Majesty's Government earnestly desire the 
presence of your Prime Minister himself, they hope that 
if he sees insuperable difficulty he will carefully con- 
sider the question of nominating a substitute, as they 
would regard it as a serious misfortune if any Dominion 
were left unrepresented. 

Naturally, the fact that the Cabinet to which 
the Dominion Prime Ministers were thus 
invited was to have supreme executive authority 
for the Empire was hardly appreciated at first 
by the Dominion peoples. At the end of 
January Mr. Lloyd George found it necessary 
to issue a special statement to explain it. The 
statement took the form of an interview with 
an Australian journalist : 










" The p?ople of the Dominions know," he said, " that 
I am not a Jingo. My record contains no journeys into 
flamboyant Imperialism. Yet I regard this council as 
marking the beginning of a new epoch in the history of 
the Empire. The war has changed us. Heaveu knows 
it has taught us more than we yet understand. It has 
opened a new age for us, and we want to go into that 
new age together with our fellows overseas just as we 
have come through the darkness together, and shed our 
blood and treasure together." 


Secretary of State for the Colonies. 


It was obvious, however, that in Mr. Lloyd George's 
view the first duty before the Empire War Council will 
be to consider the immediate business of winning the 

" The Empire War Council," said the Prime Minister, 
" will deal with all general questions affecting the war. 
The Prime Ministers or their representatives will be 
temporary members of the War Cabinet, and we propose 
to arrange that all matters of first-rate importance 
should be considered at a series of special meeting*. 
Nothing affecting the Dominions, the conduct of the war, 
or the negotiations of peace will be excluded from its 
purview. There will, of course, be domestic questions 
which each part of the Empire must settle for itself 
questions such as recruiting in the United Kingdom, or 
home legislation. Such domestic matters will be our 
only reservation. But we propose that everything else 
should be, so to speak, on the table." 

" Will the discussions include the fate of the German 
colonies ? " 

" That is one obvious question. But there are many 
questions of equal moment. All the difficult problems 
connected with the making of peace, as was stated in 
the Government's invitation, will bo threshed out in 
this series of meetings. The war policy of the Empire 
will be clearly defined. And of great importance is 
what I may call the preparation for peace. That will 
involve not only demobilization, but such other after- 
the-war questions as the migration of our own people to 
other parts of the Empire, the settlement of soldiers on 
the land, commerce, and industry after the war." 

"You haven't hesitated to depart from precedent i " 

" We certainly have not. In these days we cannot 
hesitate because we are breaking precedents. The 
Empire has thrown itself heart and soul into this war, 
and we should be failing in our duty if we did not take 
every step possible to see that its leaders get together 
from time to time. You don't suppose that we think 
that the overseas nations can raise and place in the field 
armies containing au enormous proportion of their best 
manhood, and not want to have a say, and a real say, 
in determining the use to which they arc to be put. 
That seems to us an impossible and an undemocratic 
proposition, and that is why one of the first acts of the 
new Government was to ask the Overseas Premiers to 
come over, not to a formal Imperial Conference, but to 
sit in the Executive Cabinet of the Empire. And that 
is why we have arranged for a representative of India, 
which has rendered invaluable service to our common 
cause, to be present also." 

" This implies that the Conference should meet as 
soon as possible." 

" Certainly. The war is not won yet, and we want to 
concert our efforts so that we may exert our maximum 
strength at the critical moment. Further, we are most 
anxious that during the last and most trying phase of the 
war, the British Empire may present to the world an 


Minister of Finance and Receiver-General of 

absolutely united front. Up to the present the British 
Government has shouldered the responsibility for the 
policy of the war practically alone. Jt now wishes to 
know that in its measures for prosecuting the war to a 
finish and in its negotiations for peace it will be currying 
out a policy agreed upon by the representatives of the 
whole Empire sitting in plenary council together." 

" What about after the war ! " 

" If you mean by that constitutional reconstruction, 
I can only say that it is too soon to talk about after the 
war. But I can say this. Thing? can never be the rame 
after the war as they were before it. Five democracies, 
all parts of one Empire, cannot shed their blood and 
treasure with a heroism and disregard of cost which 
have been beyond all praise without leaving memories 
of comradeship and of a great accomplishment which 
will never die. Of this I am certain, the peoples of tho 
Empire will have found a unity in the war such as 
never existed before it a unity not only in history, but 
of purpose. What practical change in Imperial or^ani- 




Left to right : Mr. Thomas Hudson (Town Clerk), General Smuts (signing the register), the Lord Mayor 

of Manchester, Alderman Smethurst. Mr. Walter Long (Colonial Secretary), Sir Daniel McCabe. 

y:it ii in that will mean I will not venture to predict. But 
that it will involve some change is certain. I believe 
that all the statesmen of the Old Country and of the 
Dominions who have spoken about it are unanimous on 
that point. The forthcoming War Council, however, 
cannot deal with these fundamental post-war problems, 
but it may afford us some insight into the form which 
they may take." 

The Imperial War Cabinet met towards the 
end of March. Australia, for the reasons already 
explained, was not represented. Its meetings 
were necessarily secret, and there could be no 
record of its proceedings. But there is no 
doubt that its results were excellent, and when 
its members dispersed the British Government 
determined to attempt to summon it every 
year. This was announced by the Prime 
Minister to the House of Commons on May 
17, 1917: 

I think [he said] that I ought to report to the House a 
very important decision that was arrived at as a sequel 
to the recent meetings of the Imperial War Cabinet. 
It is desirable that I'arliameiit should be ofticinlly and 
toimaily acquainted with an event that will constitute 
a memorable landmark in the constitutional history of 
the British Kinpire. The Hovisc will remember that 
in December last his Majesty's Government in\itr.| 
Ibi' Prime .Ministers or leading statesmen of the oversells 
Dominions and of India to attend the sittings both of 
the Cabinet and of BM Imperial War Conference to be 
held in this coxmtry. It is to the former body, which 
as- 1 'milled in Man-h jt nd held I t >it tings before separating, 
that I desire to refer. 

The British Cabinet became for the time being an 
Imperial War Cabinet. While it was in session its 
overseas members had access to all the information 
which was at the disposal of his Majesty's Government, 

and occupied a status of absolute equality with that 
of the members of the British War Cabinet. It had 
prolonged discussions on all the most vital aspects of 
Imperial policy, and came to important decisions in 
regard to them decisions which will enable us to 
prosecute the war with increased unity and vigour, and 
will be of the greatest value when it comes to the 
negotiation of pc;n'<'. 

I should like to add on behalf of the Government 
that the fresh minds and new points of view which our 
colleagues from over the seas have brought to bear 
upon the problems with which we have been so long 
engrossed have been an immense help to us all. So 
far as we are concerned, we can say with confidence 
that the experiment has been a complete success. 

The conclusions of the Imperial War Cabinet are of 
necessity secret, but there is one aspect of them which 
we feel ought to be communicated to the House without 
delay. The Imperial War Cabinet was unanimous that 
the new procedure had been of such service not only 
to all its members but to the Kmpire that it ought not to 
be allowed to fall into desuetude. Accordingly a! i he 
last session I proposed formally, on behalf of the British 
Government, that meetings of an Imperial Cabinet 
should bo held annually, or at any intermediate time 
when matters of urgent Imperial concern require to be 
settled, and that the Imperial Cabinet shmild con-ist 
of the I'rime Minister of the United Kingdom and such 
of his colleagues as deal specially with Imperial affairs, 
of the I'rime Minister of each of the Dominions, or some 
-I ii -cntlly accredited alternate possessed of equal authority, 
and of a ivjirvsiMitativc of the Indian people to be 
appointed by the (lovcrnment. of India. This proposal 
met with the cordial approval of the overseas repre- 
sentatives, and we hope that the holding of an annual 
Imperial Cabinet to discuss foreign affairs and other 
aspects of Imperial policy will become an accepted 
convention' of the British ( '.institution. 

I ought to add that the institution in its pre-cnt 
form is extremely elastic. It grew, not by design, 
but out of the necessities of the war. The essence of 
it is that the responsible heads of the Governments 



of the Empire, with those Ministers who are specially 
entrusted with the conduct of Imperial policy, should 
meet together at regular intervals to confer about 
foreign policy and matters connected therewith, and 
come to decisions in regard to them which, subject 
to the control of their own 1'arliamfnts, they will then 
severally execute. By this means they will be able to 
obtain full information about all aspects of Imperial 
affairs, and to determine by consultation together the 
policy of the Empire in its most vital aspects, without 
infringing in any degree the autonomy which its parts 
at present enjoy. To what constitutional developments 
this may load we did not attempt to settle. The whole 
question of perfecting the mechanism for " continuous 
consultation" about Imperial and foreign affairs 
between the " autonomous nations of an Imperial 
Commonwealth " will be reserved for the consideration 
of that special Conference which will be summoned as 
soon as possible after the war to readjust the constitu- 
tional relations of the Empire. We felt, however, that 
th3 experiment of constituting an Imperial Cabinet, 
in which India was represented, had been so fruitful 
in bettor understanding and in unity of purpose and 
action that it ought to be perpetuated, and we believe 
that this proposal will commend itself to the judgment 
of all the nations of the Empire. 

The members of the War Cabinet met. also in 
a " War Conference " to discuss other aspects 
of Imperial cooperation. The resolutions 
adopted by this Conference were afterwards 
published as a Parliamentary Paper [C.D. 8566]. 
In his speech at Edinburgh on April 11 Sir 
Robert Borden had given some indication of 
the kind of things which the War Conference, as 

distinguished from the War Cabinet, were 
discussing : 

I hope that after the conclusion of peace our eyes may 
be turned more closely upon the vast and varied resources 
of our Empire and their future potentialities. There 
arc questions of the gravest import touching their control, 
development and utilization for a common purpose ; 
the production of an adequate food supply, means of 
transportation and communication, the utilization of raw 
materials by the most effective methods for all needful 
purposes of national concern. We must take stock of 
our resources, exercise an effective control, and utilize 
'them to the highest national advantage. There is 
reason to believe that before the war Germany had a 
more systematic and thorough knowledge of the resources 
and development of the Dominions than could be found 
in the United Kingdom. May we not hope after the 
war for a livelier interest in the progress and the spirit 
of the young nations of the British Commonwealth ? 
Can it be denied that in the past activities or ambitions 
in minor European theatres have received attention 
that might better have been bestowed upon matters 
of common concern which have not been seen in their 
true perspective ? 

Outside of Europe are great theatres of action in 
which the future of our Empire will ultimately be 
worked out. In each of the Dominions the task of 
speedy development is an undertaking of gie it magnitude, 
and it is being carried on by a relatively small population 
I speak of Canada because I know it. In that Dominion 
there are half-a-dozen provinces, each of which is greater 
in area and not less rich in resources than the United 
Kingdom. Are we quite sure that the work which 
is being carried on overseas is measurably realized here ? 
If there is adequate vision it is clear that these con- 
siderations must continually assume larger proportions 
in the future purpose and activities of our Imperial 



Inspecting the Guard of Honour in Guildhall Yard. 



< 'omnioiiuealth. Meantime, oil effort must he con- 
secrate.! to tlir until. Hied tusk that still lies before us 
in assuring through victory the defence of our inheritance 
anil the vindication of the world's lihiTl iis. 

As tn thr question of the formal readjust- 
ment of tin- constitutional relations of Great 
Britain and the Dominions, the resolution post- 
poning it to a Special Conference to meet after 
the war appears among the resolutions of 
the Conference in the following form : 

The Imperial War Conference are of opinion that the 
readjustment of the constitutional relations of th.> 
component parts of the Empire is too important and 
intricate a subject to be dealt with during the war, and 
that it should form the subject of a special Imperial 
Conference to be summoned as soon as possible after 
the cessation of hostilities. 

They deem it their duty, however, to place on record 
their view that any such readjustment, while thoroughly 
preserving all existing powers of self-government and 
complete control of domestic affairs, should be based 
upon a full recognition of the Dominions as autonomous 
nations of an Imperial Commonwealth, and of India as 
an important portion of the same, should recognize 
the right of the Dominions and India to an adequate 
voice in foreign policy and in foreign relations, and 
should provide effective arrangements for continuous 
consultation in all important matters of common 
Imperial concern, and for such necessary concerted action, 
founded on consultation, as the several Governments 
may determine. 

The explicit expression by the members of 
the War Conference, in the second part of this 
resolution, of their view of the principles on 
which constitutional readjustment should be 
based was doubtless intended to show their 
opposition to what had come to be known as 
the " Federal Solution." In this they en- 
dorsed the opinion of General Smuts, who 
afterwards said that in his opinion the 
resolution of the War Conference, quoted 
above, had disposed of federation, at least for 
the time. In a speech to the Empire Parlia- 
mentary Association on April 2, 1917, while the 
War Cabinet was sitting, General Smuts, who 
represented South Africa at the War Cabinet, 
spoke of the future constitution of the Empire 
in a way which showed that he for one had been 
ble to reconcile hitnself to the idea of a single 

Executive Cabinet for the Empire without any 
formal alteration of its loose constitutional ties. 

On the future Constitution of the Empire I do not 
want to speak at any length. I do not think that this 
is the time or that it is necessary to do so, hut I think 
one word of caution should be expressed. A great deal 
of political thinking on this difficult and most important 
of all subjects has already been done in the United 
Kingdom, and a great literature is growing up around 
it in this country. Let me give you one word of warning. 
In thinking of this matter, do not try to think of existing 
political institutions which have been evolved in the 
course of European developments. The British Empire 
is a much larger and more diverse problem than anything 
we have seen hitherto, and the sort of Constitution we 
read about in books, the sort of political alphabet which 
has been elaborated in years gone by, does not apply, 
and would not solve the problems of the future. We 
should not follow precedents, but make them. I feel 
sure that in the coming years when this problem is in 
process of solution because it will never be finally and 
perfectly solved you will find our political thought will 
be turned into quite new channels and will not follow 
what has been done anywhere else either in the old 
world or the new, because, after all, we are built on 

We see growing up before us a great number of strong 
free nations all over the Empire. Nobody wants to 
limit the power of self-government. No single man 
outside a lunatic asylum wants to force these young 
nations into any particular mould. All that we want 
is the maximum of freedom and liberty, the maximum 
of self-development for the young nations of the Empire, 
and machinery that will keep all these nations together 
in the years which are before them. I am sure if wo 
disabuse 'our minds of precedents and preconceived 
ideas we shall evolve, in the course of years, the institu- 
tions and machinery that will meet our difficulties. 

The meetings of the Imperial War Cabinet 
over, the representatives of Canada, India, 
New Zealand and Newfoundland returned 
home. General Smuts remained in England. 
It was known that he had been of great service 
to the Imperial Cabinet. His military record 
combined with his political experience to give 
him a special position among the Dominion 
representatives. On June 18, 1917, Mr. Bonar 
Law announced in the House of Commons 
that the British \Var Cabinet had invited 
General Smuts to attend their meetings during 
his stay in England " in order to avail them- 
selves " of his " special military knowledge 
and experience." 





IN earlier chapters the political and military 
aspects of Italy's participation ?in the 
Great War have been described, but not 
the work done by her Navy. It is pro- 
posed here to show what were the duties of the 
Italian Fleet and how they were executed. 

The task of the Italian seamen was influenced 
by the area in which it was performed, and 
their strategy by the nature of the geographical 
conditions. The Adriatic, from its northern 
end in the Gulf of Trieste, to its southern limit 
between Cape Santa Maria di Leuca and the 
island of Corfu, is about 460 miles in length, and 
its general direction is south-easterly from the 
shores of Venice. It is bounded by two nearly 
parallel shores, and its general breadth is about 
ninety miles. Its widest part is between 
Fano, north of Ancona, and Novi, in Dalmatia, 
where it is about 110 miles. It is narrowest 
between Otranto, ill Italy, and Cape Linguetta, 
at the entrance to Valona Bay, where the 
distance is not quite forty miles. It was in 
the Straits of Otranto, between these two last- 
named places, that the principal work of 
maintaining a blockade was can-fed out by 
the Allies. It will be seen later how the com- 
parative narrowness of these waters through- 
Vol. XII Part 152. 

out their whole length affected the manner in 
which the war developed. 

The two coasts of the Adriatic differ entirely 
in aspect and character, and this again in- 
fluenced profoundly the course of the operations. 
The Italian shore is comparatively shallow, 
lacking in commodious sheltered ports, but 
having, scattered along its length, a largo 
number of populous towns. On the other 
hand, the Istrian, Dalmatian, and Albanian 
coasts are for the most part rocky and precipi- 
tous, masked by scattered islands, but possess- 
ing many excellent and safe harbours: The 
Italian seaboard, from Santa Maria di Leuca 
northwards to Buso, the boundary betweet. 
Italy and Austria, is generally low, with sandy 
beaches, except at the few points where tho 
land rises in rocky capes. The principal 
towns are Brinclisi, Ancona and Venice. Tho 
first -named, which before the war was a place 
of considerable importance, was subsequently 
converted into a first-class naval basr. The 
railway commences here, with branches to 
Otranto and Taranto, and passes northward 
within easy reach of nearly all the ports along 
the- coast to Rimini, where it turns inshore 
to the larger towns of the ulterior, lliis law 




zo \f TT 

PonteUa\ ti 



DurazzoA ^ 


With inset plans of Pola and Taranto. 



was made to serve a useful purpose in the 
defence of the coast. Ancona, which is in 
direct railway communication with most of 
the principal towns of Italy, was also improved 
during the war, while Venice, in spite of certain 
disadvantages, was a naval base and ship- 
building centre of great importance. 

On the eastern coast of the Adriatic there 
were only three towns of commercial conse- 
quence, Trieste, Fiume, and Valona, but there 
were many harbours, most valuable from a naval 
point of view, including Pola, in the Istrian 
Peninsula, the principal headquarters of the 
Austro-Hungarian Navy. Fiurne, in the Gulf 

bay, which from its position near the entrance 
to the Adriatic Sea is of considerable strategic 
value, and was seized by the Italians as a base 
of operations. A word, too, must be said 
about the labyrinth of islands which form ti 
fringe to the Dalmatian coast. The best known 
of these are Lissa and Lagostn, but nil abound 
with ports and harbours, most suitable for the 
use of torpedo craft. About mid-way also in 
the Adriatic is the island of Pelagosa, and this 
place, like some of the other islands', 
connected by telegraph with the mainland 
and used as a signal station, was occupied by 
the Italians. It will be seen from this deserip- 


of Quarnero, was the only j-ort of Hungary, 
and was connected by railway with Trieste, 
Vienna, and Budapest. Like Trieste, it was a 
shipbuilding port, and in these two centres aU 
the larger ships of the Austro- Hungarian Navy 
were built. Southward along the Dalmatian 
coast the shore is backed at a short distance 
by high ranges of mountains, and deep water 
is to be found, as well as almost land-locked 
harbours, including Cattaro, a place which 
attained much prominence owing to its value 
from a strategical aspect and to the operations 
of which it formed the base. Between Cattaro 
and Valona are the ports of Durazzo and San 
Giovanni di Mcclun, which at the beginning 
of the war were available for communication 
with Serbia and Montenegro, but later on fell 
into Austrian hands. Valona, which will also 
be found mentioned in the following narrative, 
is the principal seaport in Albania, on a spacious 

tion of the Adriatic Sea that there were greater 
advantages in many respects on the Austrian 
side, and that the peculiar configuration of the 
eastern coast made more difficult any offensive 
operations against the naval forces of the Dual 
Monarchy. The western coast, on the other 
hand, owing to its paucity of harbours, its 
shallow waters, and its many populous towns, 
presented a vulnerable target fo the enemy's 

From August 10, 19 14, the dale <>t thedeelan - 
tion of war by Austria-Hungary, until May '2:>. 
1915, when Italy came into the conflict, the 
duty of imposing the will of the Allies upon tin- 
Fleet of the Dual Monarchy devolved upon th 
Anglo-French naval forces under the command 
of Admiralissimo Boue de Lapeyrere. The 
Austro-Hungarian Fleet had, without an effort, 
abandoned the control of the communications 
in the lower waters of the Adriatic, and the 



-'; . 




major portion shut itself up in the protected 
port of Pola, much in the same way that the 
German High Sea Fleet had gone into hiding 
behind Heligoland. Defended by extensive 
and very modern fortifications on the heights 
around the harbour, by numerous batteries of 
long-range guns commanding the entrance 
with its approaches, and by mines in the 
adjacent channels, the great naval arsenal and 
anchorage in the Istrian Peninsula defied 
attacks by ships alone. Any attempt at its 
reduction demanded the employment of military 
forces, and these could not be spared for the 
purpose. The task, therefore, of the Allied 
squadrons and flotillas was limited to the 
maintenance of a position of observation in the 
Straits of Otranto, from which any endeavour 
of the enemy to challenge a decision at sea could 
"be promptly met, while ingress or egress to and 
from the Mediterranean was denied. Commu 
nication with Montenegro was establi.-jhed at 
the outbreak of war through the ports of 
Durazzo and San Giovanni <ti Medua, and this 
business brought about a bombardment of 
Cattaro and the temporary sei/.ure of some of 
the lower Dalmatian Islands from which attacks 
by light vessels on the line of traffic were 
launched. This necessarily arduous and some- 
what thankless task was exercised by the 
Allied forces effectively, but not without some 
loss in the campaign of attrition by submarines, 

[Italian Naval official photographs. 


which here, as in the North Sea, was the most 
prominent feature of the tactics adopted by the 

When Italy denounced the Triple Alliance 
and drew the sword in the cause of the Entente- 
Powers, her Navy was called upon to operate 
in what was already an active theatre of 
hostilities. The sphere of naval operations 
was, however, at onei- enlarged; and extended 
throughout the whole length and breadth of the 
Adriatic. Not only had the Italian Fleet to 
assume the responsibilities of the blockade a.t 
the Straits of Otranto and the maintenance of 
communications with Montenegro and Albania, 
but it was called upon to undertake the pro- 
tection of its commercial interests and the 
towns along its Adriatic littoral. Furthermore. 
upon it devolved the duty of marking the 
Austro-Hungarian Fleet at Pola, arid such 
undertakings as were required in co-operation 



with me Army in the advance of the latter 
along the Friuli coast towards Trieste. The 
Austro- Hungarian Fleet, based on Pola, Fiume, 
and Cattaro, was a standing menace, and 
enjoyed behind the Dalmatian islands a freedom 
of action which permitted the utilisation to the 
fullest extent of small craft, supported in some' 
instances by the larger ships. To meet the 
attacks which were made called for the utmost 
vigilance on the part of the Italian seamen and 
a continued display of the qualities of gallantry 
and endurance. Fortunately, during several 
months .of neutrality, Italy had been able to 
utilise her industrial resources, and her ship- 
building yards and foundries, for completing 
her naval arrangements, so that when war came 
she was able to answer the call effectively and 
gradually to tighten her grip on the enemy both 
by sea and air. In the Northern Adriatic 
particularly the interdependence of the land 

way to the British control of the Channel and 
defence of the Straits of Dover. The fall of 
Mount Lovtchen removed the last obstacle 
to the hold of the Austrian* upon the Bay of 
Cattaro. They were now able to make full 
use of this magnificent anchorage, the ap- 
proaches to which had been dominated by the 
guns upon the Mount, a circumstance which 
had hitherto debarred the full development 
of the port as a naval base. Cattaro was in 
some respects to the Italians what Xeebrugge 
had been to the British Navy. Its vicinity 
to the Straits made possible interference which 
might at any time become serious. The 
Austrians also utilised this port by sending 
some of their most powerful ships there, and 
from it raids by lighter craft and strong flotillas 
became frequent and marked by skill arid dash 
both in plan and execution. All these matters 
demanded from the Italian Fleet exhibition 


and sea operations was made manifest, and the 
seamen, by energetic aggressive action, 
materially assisted the work of the Army. 

Later on, when Montenegro and Serbia were 
overwhelmed and King Constantino behaved 
so despicably, the burden laid on. the Italian 
Fleet increased, and its task became yet more 
arduous and difficult. The withdrawal of 
the remnants of the Serbian Army was a great 
feat, and so was the transport of a military 
expedition to Valona. Those undertakings, and 
that of preventing interference with the patrol 
in the Straits of Otranto, are comparable m a 

of the highest professional capacity and sea- 
manship. During two years of war the enemy's 
fleet was condemned to a state of comparative 
powerlessness, and thus there was no engage 
ment between the vessels of the larger classes, 
but many incidents and episodes occurred, 
some of them of a quite sensational nature. 
In every way the Italians maintained the high 
standard of their training and traditions, 
constantly and vigorously asserting their 
mastery over the foe. 

The declaration of war by Italy found hev. 




Navy both strong an'l ready, able to wiold a 
potent influence on (lie course of events in t h<> 
Adriatic. As regards material strength, the 
Italian fleet was second only to that of France 
in the Mediterranean. Hence, when the forces 
of those two Powers were united, the naval 
position of the Allies in that important theatre 
of war was very much improved. The control 
over the Adriatic become more stringent, and 
was not seriously challenged by the Austro- 
Hungarian Navy. 

Six battleships of the " Dreadnought " Hii<s 
headed the Italian fighting fleet. They were 
of three distinct types. In a class by herself 
was the Dante Alighieri, which was launched 
in 1910 and completed in 1912. This first 
Italian " Dreadnought," of 20,010 tons, had 
an armament of twelve 12-in. guns, disposed 
in four triple turrets the vessel being the first 
designed to carry her heavy guns on this 
principle. A feature of the ship was her high 
speed of 23 knots, or two knots more than the 
original British " Dreadnought." Following 
the Dante Alighieri came three vessels of the 
same tonnage, but of slightly different design. 
The Leonardo da Vinci, Giulio Cesare, and 
Conte di Cavour were given thirteen 12-in. 
guns, and the novl arrangement was adopted 
of three turrets mounting throe weapons in 
each, and two turrets twin-mounted. Among 
the adjustments to permit of the extra weight 

allotted to the main armament was the reduction 
of the speed to 22 knots. There were two 
other " Dreadnoughts," the Andrea Duria 
and Caio Duilio, launched in 191.'t, which were 
similarly armed to the last-named three .ships, 
and were, in general, improvements on them. 
Owing to the failure of the Austrians to challenge 
the command exercised by the Allied fleets, 
these "Dreadnought" vessels of the Italian 
Navy were not called upon for any fighting 
during the two years following the declaration 
of May, 1915, yet the power and strength latent 
in them made their influence felt on the situation 
at sea. An unfortunate accident deprived our 
Allies of the services of the Leonardo da Vinci. 
This ship, on the night of August 2, l!(l(i, 
while moored in Taranto Harbour, in a position 
sheltering her from all possibility of hostile 
attack, caught fire near the aft magazine. 
The prompt flooding of the magazine prevented 
the entire destruction of the vessel, but a Be 
of explosions occurred, and within an hour the 
fine ship had foundered in about 3."> feet <.f 
water. It was definitely established that the 
explosion was not due to the spontaneous 
combustion of powder or shells. 

Supplementing the Dreadnought divisions. 
Italy had, when she entered the \\ ar, an im- 
posing fleet of pre-Dreadnought ships, both 
battleships and cruisers-- about ten vessels 
of either class. The battleships ranged from 






the Roma, of 1907, to the Sardegna, of 1890, 
and, judged by their contemporaries in other 
fleets, they were all of powerful and efficient 
types. Italian constructors had been justly 
renowned for their daring and initiative in 
ship design. To Colonel Cuniberti, at one time 

Chief Constructor of the Italian Navy, was 
ascribed the origin of the -idea of the Dread- 
nought or "all-big-gun ship." As regards (In- 
armoured cruisers, a!l but three carried 10-in. 
guns in their main armaments, and were thus 
in the nature of fast light battleships. It was 


'////: 77J//-;.s' IIISTOHY OF THE WAR. 

with these twenty pro-Dreadnought battleships 
and cruisers that the Italian fleet carried through 
so suceesst'iilly its work during the war with 
Turkey in 1911-12, when although, owing to 
the marked inferiority of tho Ottoman forces, 
it gained no dramatic victories, it accomplished 
a large- amount of valuable and indispensable 
work in the transport of troops to Tripoli, 
the destruction of hostile shipping, the bom- 
bardment of enemy ports and signal stations. 
and in blockade work. Tho Italian Navy 
not only made possible the defeat of tho Turks, 
but prevented the intervention of a thin 1 I'ow er. 
As regards light cruisers, the construction of 

iirsenals at Naples, Genoa, and Leghorn had 
turned out vessels of this character for many 
foreign Powers, including Croat Britain, which 
had ordered a Submersible of the Laurent i type 
in 1911. There were .'{.'{ destroyers, <>7 torpedo 
boats, and 2O submarines ready for service in 
the Italian Navy in May. 1915. An illustration 
of the capability of the crews of this branch of 
the service was afforded during the \\ar with 
Turkey, when Captain Knrico Millo, who after- 
wards became Minister of Marine, took the 
torpedo boats Spica. Pcrseo, Centauro, Climene 
and Astore on the night of July 18, 1912, into 
the Dardanelles ; the raid constituted a fine 

[Itahin Xiival Official 


this most useful class had been somewhat 
neglected in the few years before 1914. so that 
of the 16 vessels in the Italian Xavy nine were 
over twenty years old, with a speed of less than 
twenty knots. The newest scout-cruisers were 
the Nino liixio, Marsala, ami Quarto, launched 
in 1911-12, with a displacement of :{. KlO tons 
i:nd a speed of 28 knots Others, howc\er. 
including some for duty as flotilla leaders. 
were under construction or Hearing completion. 
Another interesting vessel similar in general 
design wa- the Libia, launched in the Ansaldo 
works at Genoa in 1912. She had been built 
,-jS the Turkish cruiser Drama, but was sei/.ed 
by tho Italians, before completion, on the out- 
break of the war against Turkey. 

In torpedo craft, both surface and submerged, 
the Italian Fleet was well developed. The 

exhibition of i:er\e mid judgment. In the 
greater war which opened for Italy in May, 
191."i. this daring raid was to be matched by 
other brilliant exploits with torpedo craft, as 
will be shown in tho following pages. No 
account, however brief, of the material of thl 
Italian Navy would be complete! without 
mention ol the various auxiliary and special 
ships, mining vessels, and the like, all of which 
helped to keep the fleet ill a hiL'h state of 
readiness and efficiency. 

The employment "of the ex-light cruiser Klba. 
on ballooning service indicated the attention 
paid to aeronautics at a time when the seaplane 
and the airship had not been utili/.ed to any 
large- extent for war purposes. In August, 
1913, however, a Marine Flying School had 
been constituted at Venice. Several naval 



.lirmen from hero and elsewhere became famous 
by their exploits in the course of the war 

It may be well to record here that the 
Italian Navy had been administered in the 
years preceding the war by a judicious and 
well-tried system. Herein lay the foundation 
of much of its success. The outstanding 
feature of the Italian Admiralty was that its 
head had usually been a naval officer an 
admiral of distinguished service or attainments. 
He had the title of Minister of Marine, and was 
fully responsible to Parliament, having a seat 
in either the Senate or the Chamber. A 
civilian Vnder-Sccretary of State and a rear- 
admiral with the title of ( 'eneral Secretary 
relieved the Minister of matters of detail and 
routine. He was also assisted by two con- 
sultative bodies, the Superior Council of the 
Navy and the Committee of Designs, the' 
former having for its President an eminent flag 
officer of experience and ability. Another 
interesting feature of Italian naval war admin- 
istration was the co-ordination of effort as 
between the fighting fleet and the mercantile 
marine. Italy's merchant navy was made not 


Blown up in Brimlis! Harbour in September, 1915. 

only virtually but actually a branch of her 
roval Navy, directed by an Under-Secretary 
for Transports. When the question of the 
shortage in the world's carrying tonnage became 
acute owing to the abnormal conditions created 
by the war the value of this unity of control 
ivas apparent, and Signor Ancona, then Under- 
secretary for Transports, accompanied t he- 
Italian delegation to the Allied naval con- 

ference which met in London in January, 1917, 
when important decisions were arrived at con- 
cerning not only the naval operations but as 
the British Admiralty announced at the time 
"the use of shipping, the control of the trade 
routes, and other cognate problems." 

When the great war broke out at the begin- 
ning of August, 1914, the post of Minister of 
Marine was occupied by Rear-Admiral Millo, 
who had been appointed in July, 1913, but in 
the Cabinet formed by Signor Salandra at the 
beginning of November, 1914. the portfolio 
was accepted by Admiral Viale This officer 


Italian Minister of Marine, 1913-14. 

directed the naval side of Italy's war .iperations 
for four months after she enteied the conflict 
in May, Mil."), and then, to the deep regret of 
all who recogni/.ed his worth, he was compelled 
to relinquish the position owing to ill-health. 
Admiral Viale was not only an. accomplished 
officer, but had had the ran 1 experience of com- 
manding a fle'.'t in war, as he succeeded to the 
chief command of the Italian Fleet on April 7, 
11112, while the war with Turkey ;- still in 
progress. Formerly, he had been ill charge of 
the Second Squadron. He was in command of 
the Fleet when it was reviewed in state by 
King Victor Kmuniiel in Naples Hay on Novem- 
ber 11, 1912, to mark the conclusion of the 
war against Turkey. The resignation of 
Admiral Viale was made known in the following 



official statement published at Rome on 
September 25. lid.-) : 

The King 1m- accepted the resignation of Admiral 
Viale, the Minister of Marine, ami has instructed Signor 
Salandra, the Premier, to take over the post pending the 
appointing of a new Minister. 

Admiral Viale has been siitTering for a month from an 
indisposition whieh lias already obliged him to go to 
Genoa to undergo a slight surgical operatioi . Although 
the illness was liy no means of a serious nature, the 
Minister's absence from Rome would have had to be 
prolonged for <onic few weeks, ami eonse(|uently Admiral 
Viale. inspired by a high cn.-e of the heavy responsibility 
attachingto the military Minister at ttie present moment, 
jilaeeil his resignation in the hands of the I'rime Minister. 

Admiral Viale's resignation was this morning com- 
municated to the Cabinet, which instructed Si_no;- 


Commander-!n-Ch!ef of the Italian Navy. 

Salandra to express to the retiring Minister the keen 
regret of all his colleagues and their cordial wish for his 
rapid and complete recovery. At the personal request 
of Signer Salami. Signer Battaglieri, the Under- 
secretary of State for the Navy, will remain at his post . 

In succession to Admiral Viale, Vice-Admiral 
Camillo Corsi became Minister of Marine, and 
it was an interesting circumstance that he kissed 
hands on his appointment at the Headquarters 
of the Supreme Army Command. His selection 
\viis a most natural one, for he had served as 
Chief of the Staff to Admiral Viale during the 
war with Turkey. Anxious to share in some 
of the fighting, he was placed in charge of the 
naval detachment whieh landed and occupied 

the island of Rhodes in May, 1912, until the 
arrival of troops. His detachment also occupied 
six other Aegean Islands. Admiral Corsi. a 
Roman, was fifty-five when appointed Minister 
of Marine. He attended, as chief of the Italian 
delegation, the naval conference at the British 
Admiralty in January, 1917, when he wr.s 
accompanied by Rear-Admiral Marzolo, Sub- 
Chief nf the Naval Staff. It was the practice 
from October, 1915, to February, 1917, for 
the Minister of Marine to discharge the- duties 
of Chief of the Staff, .although in the actur.l 
working out of war plans, etc., no doubt a 
large amount of the staff work was delegated 
in his subordinate. At the time mentioned 
this arrangement was altered, and th > responsi- 
bilities of Chief of the Staff were transferred 
to the officer holding the post of Commander- 
i n -Chief of the Fleet. Tiiis change synchronized 
with the retirement of that popular and well- 
known officer, Admiral the Duke of the Abruzzi. 
First cousin of the King of Italy, the Duke 
was born in Madrid on January 29, 1873, r.nd 
was educated at the Naval School at Leghorn. 
By his own merits, industry and daring he 
carved out for himself a successful career in 
the Italian Navy, and during the war with 
Turkey was in command of a division of ships 
operating principally in the Adriatic. He also 
earned fame as an enthusiast for mountaineer- 
ing and for Polar exploration. In 1900. his 
party reached 86 33' north, beating Nansen's 
previous record, and penetrating nearer to 
the North Pole than had been done at that 
time. It was in August, 1914, that he was 
appointed to the chief command of the Italian 
Navy. After exactly two and a half years 
in that arduous post, he requested the King 
to relieve him of his duties owing to reasons of 
health, and his successor was Vice-Admiral 
Count Thaon di Revel. The new Commander - 
in-Chief had been for some time in charge of 
the naval defence of Venice, and from 1913 to 
October, 1915, was Chief of the Naval Staff, or 
until that office was merged with that of the 
Minister of Marine, as already mentioned. 
Count di Revel was frequently commended for 
good service during the Libyan War, when he 
commanded the Fourth Division, Second Squad- 
ron, .which bombarded the Dardanelles and 
sunk two Turkish ships in the harbour at 
Beirut. Formerly he was for four years head 
of the Italian Naval Academy. He was 59 
years of age at the time of his selection as 
Commander-in -Chief, and in the interval until 



he could hoist his flag, Vice-Admiral Cutinelli, 
who had had considerable experience as a 
divisional commander, and was decorated by 
King George in May, 1916, took charge of the 
fleet. The combination of Admirals Corsi 

Italian Minister of Marine, 1914-15. 

and Marzolo at the Ministry of Marine, and 
Vdmirals di Revel and Cutinelli in the fleet, 
was a strong one, and under their leadership 
and guidance the Italian seamen continued to 
exhibit those admirable qualities which had 
made their work so valuable in the war. As 
to the spirit in which they came to their task, 
Admiral Mazzinghi wrote in the Xavj League 
Annual for 1915-16 : " Two reasons made it a 
debt of honour for Italy that she should take 
part in the European conflict : first, she could 
not accept the humiliation of any compensation 
whatever as her price of neutrality . . . ; second. 
it was imperative that she should oppose 
Teutonic arrogance and champion the rights 
of nations." 

Following the declaration of wa? upon 
Austria- Hungary as from midnight cm Sunday. 
May 23, 1915, the Italian Fleet at once took 
the sea, and proceeded to execute pluns 
which had been carefully prepared and pro- 
bably developed anil improved in view of the 
experiences of ten months of war. Light was 
shed upon certain phases of the early work of 
the Italian seamen in communiques iss,:ed 

from Rome by Admiral Thaou di Revel, 
then Chief of the Naval General Staff. On 
June 2, 1915, the Admiral reported that on 
the previous day the Fleet cruised in the 
vicinity of the Dalmatian Archipelago, but 
the enemy made no appearance. Meantime, 
the communique added, Italian warships had 
again destroyed the new semaphore and 
wireless stations on the island of Lis-sa, which 
had already been put out of action by the 
French naval bombardment in November. 
1914, but which the Austrians had rebuilt. 
An important observation station to the north 
of the island of Curzola was also destroyed. 
On June (i, Admiral Thaoii di Revel described 
further operations as having taken place in 
the Middle and Lower Adriatic. On the 
5th, he said the cables uniting the continent 
to the islands of the Dalmatian Archipelago 
\voro cut, and all the lighthouses and observa- 

Italian Minister of Marine from September, 1915. 



tion stations on these islands were destroyed. 
The railway between Cattaro and Kagusa 
was bombarded and seriously damaged. The 
island of Pelagosa was similarly the object of 
attention. After several bombardments, it 
was found that this place was still in use as a 
base for submarines, mid as a signal station, 
and its occupation was, therefore, decided 
upon. On the night of July 2(i, 1915, des- 
troyers and auxiliary vessels, covered by 
heavier forces, carried the island by a brilliant 
and daring coup. This uncultivated islet. 
as the circumstances connected with the loss 
of the Nereide later on showed, was provisioned 
by means of submarines. While the Nereid*'. 

ADMIRALS CUTINELLI (marked with one 
cross) AND MARZOLO (two crosses). 

an Italian submarine of 297 tons, was at anchor 
off Pelagosa, unloading supplies for its small 
garrison, an Austrian submarine appeared. 
Th 1 ? Italian commander, immediately the 
enemy's periscope was sighted, gave orders to 
the crew to enter the vessel and submerge, but 
before she could dive two torpedoes struck 
her. and she foundered with all hands. The 
island of Lagosta was also the scene of a gallant 

exploit in which the French destroyers Magon 
and Bisson cooperated. 

Naturally, enterprise-; of this character, 
directed towards cur-bin 1 ; the eir-my's power 
and activity, had no small element of risk, in 
view of the presence of Austrian submarines. 
The big ships employed, especially those of 


older tvpes, were especially exposed, and it 
was hardly surprising that two of them, the 
cruisers Amalfi and Giuseppe Garibaldi, fell 
victims in July, 1915, the former on the 7th 
and the latter on the 18th. The Amalfi 
was attacked at dawn while carrying out a 
reconnaissance in force in the I'pper Adriatic, 
and sank in about eight minutes with the loss 
of 70 lives. The Garibaldi was one of a 
division which had approached Cattaro, the 
Austrian naval base, and bombarded the 
railway in the vicinity at the si'.me time thai 
small craft operated against Cravosa. She 
was torpedoed to the south of KaL'iisa. but, 
nearly al! her creu were picked up. -\n 
Italian correspondent, supplying some hitherto 
unpublished particulars, stated that the old 
cruiser (she \\as launched in ISitil) had caused 
a good deal of damage to Austria before she 
was sunk. She had destroyed observation 
posts along the coast, had bombarded land 
batteries, and had created such havoc against 
the Kagusa-Cattaro railway that all traffic 
was suspended for over a month. The Gari- 
baldi had never, in the course of her raids, 
met. an Austrian ship, and when sunk by the 
Austrian submarine U4 she was returning 
from one of her expeditions. Her creu, 
under their gallant commander, Captain Franco 
Fortunnto Nunes, remained at their posts in 
the hope of saving the vessel, whilst four 
enemy submarines were seen in the vicinity. 



As long as it was possible, the gunners of the 
Garibaldi continued firing nt their assailants. 
One of the submarines, U4, emerged too near 
her prey, and was repeatedly hit. For several 
days afterwards, t'he Austrian wireless station 
at Cr.ttaro Kent urgent messages in cipher to 
U4 to report, and from all indications it was 
pretty certain that the Garibaldi had avenged 
herself before she sank, with the remainder of 
her crew drawn up on deck shouting " Yini 
I'llalia." Confirmation of the loss of U4 
was forthcoming when, some time later, another 
Austrian submarine. V3, was sunk in the 

the alertness and initiative of the Italian 
seamen. The raid so took the small garrison 
by surprise that the rcimnianding officer, a 
Hungari&n lieutenant, surrendered together 
with .">() men, who wen 1 brought back as 
prisoners. The Xetliro destroyed the railway 
station and barracks, damaged the c|iiays and 
shipping, and sank several motor-boats. Again, 
on June 12, 1916, the Zeffiro was ordered to 
attack, and, if possible, destroy, the aerodrome 
at Parenzo. The destroyer reached her objec- 
tive in a fog, which hampered the visibility, 
but which had no effect <>n the commander's 


Lower Adriatic and her crew taken prisoners. 
Some of thoi-e men i:skod whether they would 
In- sent to .join their chums of the U4, which 
had never returned home. Of the Garibaldi's 
crew of 540,.eJjout .">0(l were saved by a destroyer 
flotilla sumini lied to the scene by wireless. 

If the larger units of the Italian Xavy were 
thus actively employed, despite all that the 
Austro-German submarines could Accomplish, 
even more so were the destroyers and small 
craft. The first noted exploit of the des- 
troyers was the raid made on the night of 
May 24, 1915, by the Xetliro, a boat of :(:>> 
tons, built by .Messrs. Pattison in 1904, into 
the harbour of Porto Buso, in the Gulf of 
Trieste, on the confines of Italy and Austria. 
This stroke, delivered within 24 hours 
of the outbreak of war, showed vividly 

decision to enter the harbour. On the quay 
were discovered three Austrian soldiers. The 
nearest was ordered by the Italian captain to 
catch the rope thrown and make it secure ! 
Several sailors from the destroyer landed with 
the intention of capturing the three soldiers, lint 
thev were only successful in securing one, 
the other two escaping toward* the city to 
give the alarm. By the time the XeHiro's 
commander ordered the bolt to leave. th<- 
enemy batteries had opened a hot fire upon 
the destroyer, but the latter, notwithstanding 
a t'e\v injuries, directed her fir.- 0:1 the aerodrnin<- 
and inflicted sevre dii.'nage upon it. She 
also returned with valuable information. A 
month later, or as soon as the damage had 
been repaired by the Austrians. the /"fnro, 
with other destroyers, again returned to 




Parenzo and completely destroyed the 

The fear inspired among the Austrians by 
the msuiner in which Italian torpedo craft \\erc 
handled may be judged by en occurrence on 
May 3. !!)!(>, to the south ot the mouth of the 
River Po. Ten Austrian torpedo boats were 
sighted by four Italian destroyers, and in spite 
of their nuuierieal superiority the former at 
once headed for Pola. They were chased all 
the way by the Italians, who shelled them con- 
tinuously, and the pursuit was only abandoned 
when several large enemy warships were seen 
leaving Pola in support of the hunted torpedo 
boats. A flight of Austrian seaplanes unsuc- 
cessfully attempted to drop bombs on the 
destroyers on this occasion. Considering their 
work, the Italian flotillas were comparatively 
immune from loss. During the two years fol- 
lowing their entry into the war, only four 
boats were officially reported sunk, the Turbine, 
Intrepido, Impetuoso, and Nembo. The 
destruction of the first-named is referred to 
later ; the Intrepido was blown up by a mine 
in December, 1915 ; the Impetuoso fell a 
victim to a submarine attack in the Straits of 
Otranto on July 10, 1916, nearly all her crew 
being saved ; while the Nembo was also sunk 

by submarine in circumstances which demand 
more than a passing reference. On the night 
of October Hi, 191(i, the Xembo was employed 
in escorting the Italian transport Ronnida to 
Yalona when the Centum submarine U16 
with an Austrian crew, sighted them. Deciding 
to attack so good a target as the troopship 
presented, the U boat got off a torpedo at 
the Hormida. but in the meantime the des- 
troyer's commander had sighted the periscope 
and had placed his boat on the exposed side of 
Mil- steamer. The torpedo struck the Xembo, 
and she began to sink, but her commander 
resolutely ordered her to be rushed towards 
the submarine in an endeavour to ram. Before 
this could be done the U boat had submerged 
completely, whereupon the destroyer used 
depth charges, which exploded under water. 
In a few minutes the submarine was obliged 
to come to the surface in a damaged con- 
dition, and a little later still both participants 
in this strange duel sank together, while 
the transport, with nearly 3,000 souls on board, 
proceeded in safety. Eleven of the submarine's 
crew were able to scramble into an empty boat 
belonging to the destroyer and rowed off 
towards the coast, near which they were 
picked up and made prisoners. Some sur- 






vivors of the gallant crew of the Nembo were 
also saved. 

This account of the operations of Italian 
destroyers during the period under review 
cannot better conclude than by a reference to 
the audacious raid made on Pola on the night 
of November 2. 1916. Three boats made the 
attempt, and their aim was to enter the waters 
of the harbour, effect a reconnaissance, and 
torpedo any warship which might be encoun- 
tered and within range. To ensure their 
developing the highest possible speed, every 
particle of unnecessary gear had been taken 
out of the three boats entrusted with this 
dangerous mission. The enemy coast began 
to be visible about midnight, and the trio, 
being in mined waters, reduced their speed. 
Before them were the obstructions of the 
Fasaua Channel. A solitary sailor was left in 
a small boat at a prearranged point to act as 
guard. Negotiating the fixed obstacles in the 
Channel in safety, the destroyers reached the 
waters of Pola harbour itself, and, while one 
proceeded further, the two others remained 
behind to act as escort or as might be required. 
For two hours the former boat carried out a 
minute reconnaissance among the islands, the 
Channel, and other places which compose and 
protect the harbour of Pola. The outline was 
then perceived of a large enemy warship, and 

two torpedoes were discharged, but unfor- 
tunately the character of the nets protecting 
this vessel was such that the torpedoes re- 
mained caught in them, and, her presence 
being thus revealed, the Italian boat had to 
rejoin her consorts and return, which she did 
successfully. In spite of heavy fire from the 
batteries, assisted by the searchlights, the 
sailor on guard was picked up and no damage 
was caused to the raiders. Their mission, 
although robbed of that complete success 
which was hoped from it, served a useful 
purpose, and certainly illustrated the indomi- 
table courage and professional skill of the 
officers and crews.. 

Turning now to tho work of the Italian sub- 
marine service, the salient point to remember is 
that, like its counterparts in the^ other Allied 
Navies, it had few opportunities for attack, 
owing to the strategical policy adopted by the 
enemy. The first reported incident in which a 
submarine was concerned w.vs the loss of the 
Medusa, a boat of 295 tons submerged displace- 
ment, built at Spezia in 1911. This boat ;is 
sunk on June 1", 1915 with the loss of all her 
crew except five, who were made prisoners. 
The curious thing was that an Austrian sub- 
marine was the means of the destruction of the 
Medusa, and this was believed to be the first 
time that two underwater craft had engaged :n 




a duel. According to accounts of the circum- 
stances, both craft were comparatively near to 
each other below water without either being 
aware of the other's presence. The .Medusa, 
however, came to the surface, was sighted 
through the periscope of the Austrian boat, and 
was torpedoed and sunk Strangely enough, 
the Medusa was soon avenged, and in like 
manner to that in which she was destroyed. 
On August 11, 1915, the Chief of the Italian 
Naval General Staff announced that in the 
Upper Adriatic the Austrian submarine U 12 
had been torpedoed by an Italian submarine 

and sunk with till on board. Three d-iys later 
the loss was officially admitted from Vi'.-nna, 
when it was reported by tho enemy wireless 
that her commander w,i,< Captain Zereh, who 
was the commander of U 12 when she made an 
attack on a French battleship in December, 
l!ll I. 

Another successful attack by an ftalirji sub- 
marine was that made upon the Austrian gun- 
boat Magnet, a 26-knot craft of 502 tons, built 
at Elbing by Messrs. Schichau in 1896. This 
vessel was torpedoed on August 2, 19 Hi, in tho 
Upper Adriatic. The Austrians, 




claimed (hat she was able to reach harbour in 
a damaged condition. Two men were killed 
on board hor and four wounded, according to 
the Vienna report, while seven more men were 
found to be missing after the attack. 

In common with the submarine flotilla:* in 
other nivies, the Italian boats suffered a few 
losses. The destruction of the Medusa, by an 
Austrian submarine, and of the Xereide, off 
Pelagosa, has already been mentioned. A third 
boat which was lost was the Jalea, which struck 
a mine while navigating submerge;! and sank. 
There was only one survivor of her crew, a sea- 

The chronicle of achievements of the Italin.r, 
naval aircraft is much more full and complete 
a natural tiling in view of the diiYerence in the 
conditions of their employment. Cross-raid- 
ing by air was a marked feature of the opera- 
tions in the Adriatic from the very beginning of 
the war. On May 27, 191. r ), the Italian naval 
aii-ship M 2 flew over the Austrian base of 
Sebeiu'co and dropped bombs on some de- 
stroyers at the mouth of the river Kerka, 
returning safely. Three days later an Italian 
airship was operating over the dockyard at 
Pola, dropping bombs on the railway, the petrol 

man named Arthur Vietri, who swam for over 
ten hours and was picked up near Ciradn. 

On August 3, 1916, the loss of the Italian 
submarine Giacinto Pullino and a second sub- 
marine was officially announced from Rome. 
The Pullino was claimed by the Austrian? to 
liave been captured, with three officers and 
eighteen men, in the Northern Adriatic and 
brought to Pola almost undamaged. Both the 
boats had left their base on an important 
mission to the enemy's coast. It was made clear 
by these losses that the Italian submarines were 
employed largely for scouting purposes, in 
which they must have been found most useful. 
At the time when war began for Italy she had 
in service about twenty submarines, all with one 
exception constructed in her excellent ship- 


depots, and other objects, including, it was 
reported, the Austrian battleship, Erzherzog 
Franz Ferdinand, which was damaged. On 
June 8 the Italians suffered their first airship 
casualty in the war when the Citta di Ferrara, 
after an attack on Fiume, was destroyed by the 
Austrian .naval seaplane, L 48,, piloted by 
Lieutenant Glasing. with Naval Cadet von 
Fritsch as observer. The vessel was brought 
down south-" est of I.iissiii, and her crew of tuo 
officers and five men captured. A week later 
another Italian aii-liip pBBSOd over the enemy's 
entrenched camps and dropped bombs on an 
important rai'wav junctii n at l>iva<-a, a few 
miles east of Trieste. The next reported 
objective of the Italian airships was the great 
shipyard and ;MX na! of the Stabilimento 
Tecnico at Trieste. Here, it was announced by 




Admiral Thaon di Revel, an Italian airship 
dropped bombs on July 4, 1915, and returned 
safely after inflicting serious damage. A farther 
raid on these works was made on July 7, when a 
fire visible for 25 miles was caused by the 
bombs. On August 5 misfortune overtook the 
naval airship, Citta di Jesi, of the Italian air 
fleet, this vessel being brought down by shrapnel 
fire after making a raid on Pola. She fell into 
the sea, and her crew were captured by the 

As with airships, so 'with seaplanes great 
use was made of the machines possessed by the 
Italians. One of the earliest raids was on a 
number of Austrian destroyers in the Fasana 
Canal or channel, the stretch of water already 
referred to, which -separates Brioni Island from 
the mainland in the vicinity of- Pola. Al- 
though it was:not known whether any of the 
enemy bunts were destroyed, several must 
have been damaged. From this time onward 
raids were constantly and frequently made by 
the Italian naval air squadrons upon sigm-l 
stations mid similar objects of military im- 
portance. A few of the more notable inci- 
dents which marked this aerial warfare may 
be given. In the Italian official communiqui on 
April 12, 1916, it was announced that in the 
Lower Adriatic two Italian seaplanes, having 
bombed a point on the enemy's coast and put 

to flight the men guarding it, alighted on the 
sea and gained the shore. The four officers in 
the seaplanes, having landed, set fire to a house 
which was being used for signal purp<'-'-. 
blew up a small munition store, ignited several 
coal stacks, and destroyed the landing stage. 
After this effective work they waded out to their 
seaplanes, and flew back in safety to their base. 
In spite of the provocation which, in common 
with the other Allies, the Italians received by 
the bombing of open and undefended towns 
their machines ^always kept .strictly to military 
purposes in the raids they carried out. On 
August 9, 1916, an Italian official communique 
pointed out that enemy aircraft had on July 27 
raided Italian open towns on the Lower 
Adriatic without any military object. The 
authorities at Rome -refused to reply in kind, 
but they ordered one of their strong Capron; 
squadrons to attack the Whitehead torpedo 
and submarine works at Fiume. This raid 
took place on August 8, when, in spite of the 
heavy fire of the Austrian anti-aircraft artillery 
and the attacks of enemy aeroplanes, the 
Italian airmen were successful in dropping 
four tons of high explosives on the famous 
works, causing much damage and some fires. 
During the air fighting an enemy aeroplane 
was brought down above Muggia. One of the 
Caproni- machines r was' observed landing near 



Volosca, but all the others returned safely. 
Following up this success, a squadron of 
twenty-two Caproni battle-planes, escorted by 
Nieuport chasers, carried out in unfavourable 
atmospheric conditions a raid on Lloyd's 
arsenal and the seaplane sheds near Trieste. 
About five tons of high-explosive bombs were 
discharged at the railway establishments and 
the ships under construction, large fires being 
observed. On September 28, again, five 
I alian aeroplanes made an attack upcn 
Durazzo, dropping half a ton oi bombs. The 
Austrian account of this affair revealed the 
presence of a destroyer support to the attack- 
ing aircraft. It stated that two Austrian 
seaplanes which ascended to meet the raiders 
forced one of them down to the water, where 
it was rescued by an Italian destroyer. Another 
raid on Pola was made by several Italian 
seaplanes on December 22, 1916, while on 
January 11, 1917, two machines bombed the 
aviation ground at Prosecco, on the railway 
five miles north of Trieste, as well as the sea- 
plane base in the harbour of Trieste. On the 
night following there was again a spirited raid 
on Pola, in which French machines operated. 
One Italian seaplane beat off three enemy 

machines. Bombs were thrown by the de- 
fending Austrian aeroplanes upon the Allied 
torpedo craft acting as a support in the road- 
stead, but all the aerial and naval units re- 
turned safely. 

So far the fighting reviewed has been that 
carried out by the regular types of warships 
and war craft. Many stirring episodes, how- 
ever, were connected with the operations of the 
special vessels and appliances in the provision 
of- which the well-known ingenuity and re- 
source of the Italians had been exercised. A 
word must be given here to the exploits of the 
naval armoured trains. The Adriatic shore of 
Italy, being entirely undefended so far as coast 
fortifications were concerned, and having a 
length of no less than 500 nautical miles, fit the 
extremities of which were situated the naval 
harbours of Venice and Brindisi, was peculiarly 
exposed to " cut-and-run " raids by the 
Austrians. Undeterred by the fact that the 
shelling of open coast towns "was contrary to 
international law, the Austrians constantly 
made descents upon the Italian seaboard. On 
the first day of their war with Italy they sent 
but a large force, including at least two battle- 
ships, the Badetzky and Zrinyi, to attack 




- /y P. di Lidu 




various points along the coast from Venice to 
Barletta. Among other defensive measures, 
the Italian naval authorities decided to utilize 
the railway running along the coast, and a 
number of armoured trains, manned by sailors, 

were brought into use. They were distributed 
at various points of the long coastline, ready to 
concentriile <U any uiven spot at wliieh an 
enemy force might be sighted. The trains 
were provided not only with heavy guns but 
also with anti-aircraft batteries. The value of 
them was demonstrated very soon. On Xo- 
\ember .">. llHli. according to an official report 
from Rome issued on the following day, three 
enemy destroyers appeared at dawn off Sant 
KIpidio-al-Mare, to the south of Ancona, and 
opened fire. One of the armoured trains was 
immediately ordered to the scene, and its guns 
came into action with such effect that the enemy 
units were obliged to retire. Two of the de- 
stroyers \\ere reported to have been hit, and 
one of them was seen to have a list, and to be 
assisted by the others, as she steamed away. 
Moreover, not one of the Austrian shells \\i-s 
as effective as it might have been otherwise. 
A railway employee was slightly injured, and 
a little damage caused to private property, but 
for the rest the raid served no purpose, thanks 
to rhe promptitude of the sailors in charge of 
the armoured train. It \\as subsequently 
reported that these mobile forts had been so 
effective that raids upon the. coast had practi- 
cally eer.sed altogether. Each train wr.s 





manned by ftbout 70 naval officers and 
ratings. The organization was on the lines of 
a warship, and the same discipline was ob- 
served as in an ordina-y naval unit. 

On entering the war the Italian Navy 
naturally underwent a process of expansion 
similar to that which took place in the Allied 
navies. pjid numbers of vessels from the 
Merchant Service were taken up for special 
duties. The services of a large proportion of 
ih sc mercantile auxiliaries were of such a 
character that little or no contemporary infor- 
mation was published in regard to them. 
Xow and again, however, they figured in 
official reports. On December 5, 1915, tin- 
Austrian light cruiser Novara and some de^ 
stroyers made a raid upon San Giovanni di 
Medua, the point on the Albanian coast which 
was used as a base by the Allies. The Austrians 
claimed to have sunk three large and two small 
steamers, together with five large and several 
small sailing vessels which were discharging 
war material, and to have blown up one 
steamer. Unfortunately for these extravagant 
claims, the British Admiralty on December 8 
was able to publish information from Rome 
showing that in this descent upon t he shipping 
off San Giovanni two small steamers only were 
sunk, one being of 390 tons displacement, and 
a few sailing, craft. In regard to the Austrian 

claim to have destroyed " a large motor sailing 
vessel " en route from Brindisi to Durazzo, 
this ship, said the Admiralty, was actually the 
Gallinara, of 30 tons. At other times, there 
were references to patrol boats and similar 
auxiliary vessels. 

Another special branch of the Italian Navy 
which rendered valuable service was that con- 
cerned with submarine mining. Here, again, 
very little information was allowed to be 
published by the authorities at Rome. In this 
connexion, the fate of the Austrian sub- 
marine UC 12 was of special interest. On 
July 25, 1915, or about two months after the 
Italian declaration of war upon Austria, it was 
discovered by minesweepers that a row of 12 
mines had been laid by the Austrians off one 
of the Italian bases. Twenty days lahr 
another string of mines, and in the same locality, 
wns discovered, affording clear proof that a, 
submarine minelayer was at work. Sneei;:! 
precautions were taken to catch and punish 
this mysterious aggressor, and over six months 
later these efforts were rewarded. On March Id, 
I'.tlli, a great explosion was heard in the. 
locality, and a large volume of water was seen 
to rise from the sea. The commander of the 
naval base ordered divers to ascertain the 
precise fate of the submarine, and their report - 
being satisfactory, it \va- decided to raise the 





wreck of the boat. A few days' hard work, 
and the submarine lay on one of the quays, 
revealing her identity as UC 12. She was built 
in the Weser shipbuilding yards at Bremen by 
Siemens Schuckert. One portion of the hull was 
a mass of twisted metal, but the explosion had 
caused less havoc in another portion, and here 
some material of great interest was recovered. 
Everything appeared to be German boat, 
armament, equipment, and crew. The charts 
and other publications bore the seal " Kaiser - 
liche Marine " ; the German Imperial crown was 
engraved on the table plate on board ; the 
clothes worn by the sailors had the mark 
" B.A.K.." signifying " Bekleidung Abteilung 

ment, and on the 22nd took on board the mines 
destined for the Adriatic. The next month 
was occupied in reaching the desired sphere of 
operations. The submarine was sent by rail, 
in three sections, from Kiel to Pola, and 
arrived at the latter place on June 24, 1915. 
Having been put together again, it was success- 
ful in laying mines before a certain Italian base 
on July 25 and August 15, 1915. Apparently 
Cattaro became its headquarters, but it left 
that port in December for Cyrenaica (Port 
Badia, near Tohum), having transported a load 
of rifles and ammunition for the Arab rebels. 
In February, 1916, the UC 12 was off Durn././.> 
during those terrible days of the evi!,eu;it ion 


Kiel " ; the postal correspondence came from 
Kiel ; the private deposits of some of the crew 
were with the Savings Bank at Kiel ; and the 
list of officers and sailors contained only purely 
German names. Nothing but the flag was 
Austrian on board, and this had been exchanged 
on June 28, 1915, at Pola a few days before 
the discovery of the first mines. It must be 
remembered that at the time in question It.ily 
was not at war with Germany. It was also an 
interesting fact that French, English, and 
Greek ensigns were found in the submarine, 
their use being obvious. 

Perhaps most important of all the relics was 
the log-book of theUC 12. This showed that the 
boat entered service at the beginning of May, 
1915, when it was put through trials on the 
Weser, and then towed by night through the 
Kaiser Wilhelm .Canal. It entered Kiel on 
May 17 to complete with stores and equip- 

of the Serbian Army, and mines were laid on 
the transport routes on the 15th and 23rd 
of that month, although fortunately the 
Italian minesweepers discovered them in time. 
Returning to Cattnro for a new cargo of mines, 
the boat set forth again to lay them, but was 
overtaken by the fate already described. The 
commander of the boat was Ober-Leutnant 
Frohner, and the second-in-command Ir.g. 
Ober-Aspirant Hempel. In type she was 
apparently similar to the UC 5, which wi-s 
captured in the North Sea and exhibited in 
the Thames in the summer of 1910. 

Something has now been said of tho work of 
all classes of fighting cr.ift in the Navy, 
and it will be gathered that during the time, 
covered by this survey that is to say, during 
the two years following Italy's declaration ot 
war the operations were rather spasmodic in 
character. Raids and counter-raids, bom- 



bardmeiits c.l' const positions. and the liko were 
tin- rule, as distinct from fleet actions. On the. 
r.svc occasions OH which tin; Austrian battleships 
or cruisers pul to sea it was for another purpose 
than (lint of contest inu a pitched battle with 
the Allieil forci'-. and the ta'-tics pursued \\ere ' 
always those of avoiding action unless the odds 
\ve:v clearly in favour of Austria. Thus tin- 
first warlike a-t of Austria, against Italy was I he 
bombardment of several points of undefended 
coastline on the morning of May 24, 1915, a 
typical runaway raid similar to that carried out 
by the (Jerman squadron against Scarborough 
in the previous December. The following was 
the Italian official account of this operation 
i: sued the same evening : 

It was foreseen that as soon as war was declared 
offensive actions, to produce moral effect rather than to 
achieve any military purpose, would .be undertaken 
; ..linst our Adriatic coast. Provision was accordingly 
in:' le iii inert them, and to make them of very short 
duration. From 4 to 6 o'clock this morning small naval 
units of the enemy, and in particular destroyers and 
torpedo-boats, did in fact fire upon our Adriatic shores. 
Aeroplanes even attempted an attack upon the arsenal 
at Venice. The enemy ships, after a very short bombard- 
ment, were forced by our torpedo-boats to clear off. 

The enemy's aeroplanes were bombarded by our anti- 
aircraft guns, and were also attacked by an Italian 
aeroplane and a dirigible flying over the Adriatic. The 
places attacked are Porto Corsini, near Ravenna, which 
i-nmediately replied, and forced the enemy to instant. 
retreat ; Ancona, where the attack was particularly 
directed to interrupt the railway line, and caused slight 
damage, easy to repair : Barletta, where the attack was 
made by a scout and by a destroyer which one of our 
sliips, escorted by torpedo-boats, put to flight ; and at 
Jesi (near Ancona), where the enemy's aeroplanes 
launched bombs-on a hangar, though without hitting 
their object. No other reports concerning the operations 
of this unit have any foundation. 

At three o'clock this morning one of our destroyers 
entered Porto Buso the little island close to the Austro- 
Italian frontier destroying the quay and the landing 
stag? for the barracks. The destroyer sank all the motor 
boats in the, harbour, and suffered no losses among her 
crew or damage to herself. The enemy lost two men 
killed and 47 taken prisoners, of whom one was an olliecr 
and 15 non-commissioned otlicers. They were conveved 
to Venice. 

Further information as to the aorial raid on Venii < 
nhows that there, wen; two aeroplanes, which threw 
eleven bombs without doing serious damage. The 
defence was prompt and efficacious, and immediately put 
the hostile aviators to flight. The slight damage done 
to the railway by hostile asroplanes and ships eiirly this 
morning has already been repaired. The enemv's lire 
s.i ik it Herman ship in the port of Ancona (the Lemnos). 

The Austrian tiuthoritie-i issued a very long 
ollicial report of the operations of their fleet 
on the l'4th. It contained the names of most 
if not all of the Austrian vessels engaged, and 
wn- obviously calculated to exaggerate the 
importance of such raiding. The only naval 
success which could be claimed by the Austrian*, 
however, was the sinking of the small Italian 

destroyer Turbine, which was recorded as 
follow s : 

The cruiser Helgoland and three de. trovers In tin bur. led 
Yiesti and Maufredonia. Th^y encountered two Italian 
destroyers neiir Marietta, against which fire was at once 
oprneil. Tin- Invliji'i destroyers (I.-;!, pursued by the 
Austria-is. One de -I myer Moapad, hut til" second was 
forced towards IVIilgosa by two of onr destroyers, the 
I 'scpel and Tutru, Wiis rendered unimvigalile by shells, 
w Inch hit her boiler, and finally burning and in a .sinking 
condition she surrendered. The Csopel, Tatra, and Lika 
rescued .'15 men, among them the commander of the 
vessel, who were made prisoners. 

This account was inu-eurate in a most im- 
portant particular. The Italian commander 
never surrendered, and his vessel sank under 
him with her flag proudly flying. The Chief of 
the Naval General Staff issued the following 
statement from Rome on May 28, 1915 : 

We have only to regref t he loss of a small old destroyer, 
built in 1901, of 330 tons, the Turbine. On the morning 
of May 24 this vessel was engaged in ssouting duties 
when she sighted an enemy destroyer. She at once gave 
chase, thus becoming separated from the main body of 
the naval detachment of which she formed part. The 
pursuit had lasted for about half an hour when four other 
enemy units came up, three destroyers and the light 
cruiser Helgoland. The Turbine thereupon fell back on 
her detachment, but having been hit twice in her boilers 
she lost her speed. Nevertheless she continued to fight 
for about an hour in spite of fire which broke out on board. 
Then her ammunition being exhausted, her commander 
ordered her sea-cocks to be opened in order to sink the 
vessel and prevent her capture by the enemy. 

The Turbine began to sink, but in spite of the fact 
that she had ceased fire, and that the crew was drawn up 
in the stern in such a serious plight, the enemy continued 
to shell her from a short distance. The commander, who 
had been wounded at the beginning of the action, when 
he saw that the vessel was about to sink, ordered the 
sailors to jump into the sea. The Austrian destroyers 
launched boats to help the swimmers, but at this moment, 
catching sight on the horizon of the naval detachment to 
which the Turbine had belonged, the enemy rapidly 
recalled his boats and made with all speed for his own 
co;ist. Our vessels, leaving lifeboats behind, pursued 
the enemy, opening fire. A destroyer of the Tatra type 
and the Helgoland were hit several times and were seri- 
ously damaged. Nino men of the Turbine were rescued. 

The splendid defence put up by Commander 
I?ian"hi was and must remain a source of admi- 
ration to all seamen. With his vessel a helpless 
wreck, and the gun crews dead or wounded all 
around him, lie himself suffering from an injury 
sustained early in the fight, he had only one 
thought, that of selling his life and that of his 
destroyer as dearly as possible. He at first 
gave orders to blow up the Turbine when 
further resistance was hopeless. Theiv were, 
however, no explosives remaining to carry out 
the command. At length, with the nearest 
Austrian destroyer only about a hundred yards 
off, ho gave the order to "Open the kijiu'- 
stons," and the Turbine gradually sank with her 
flag flying. As soon as she had realized the 


./ pkalcgrapk. 


odds ivi.iiiist her the Turbine had called for 
resistance, and according to the Austrian 
reports two battleships of the Vittorio Emaiiiiele 

typn, with one auxiliary cruiser, were soon on 
the scene. Only flight saved the enemy from 
more decisive punishment. This was the only 



! __ 


occasion during the two years after Italy's 
entry into the war that the Austrians sent out 
so many of their warships at the same time. 
Evidently the returns were considered to be 
not worth so much risk. At Ancona, for 
instance, no fewer than 22 Austrian vessels 
were present during the raid on May 24, 1915, 
but the damage was small in proportion. 
Among the private property destroyed was the 
enemy steamer Lemnos, already mentioned ; 
while the famous old cathedral of San Cisiaro 
was also damaged. Descents on the Italian 
coast continued for about three months after 
this. On June 8, 1915, small craft attacked 
Punta Tagliamento, Rimini, Pesaro, and Fano. 
On July 19 Monopoli came in for attention. 
Four days later the places shelled comprised 
San Vito, Termoli, Ortona, Francavilla, San 
Benedetto del Tronto, Grotammare, Cupra 
Marittima, and Pegaso ; while on July 27 there 
were bombardments at Senigallia, Fano, and 
Pesaro. Similarly, during the month of August , 
Molfetta, Santo Spirito, Bari, and Noicattaro 
were the object of bombardments. Aft?r that 
month, however, no further raids of this kind 
were made by the Austrians, as the Italian 
counter-measures and precautions made such 
operations too hazardous. 

It was about this time, on August 21, 1915, 
that Italy declared war on Turkey. The 
Note prssented by the Marquis Garroni, the 
Italian Ambassador at Constantinople, to tin- 
Ottoman Government stated as the reason for 

the Italian action the support by Turkey of the 
revolt in Libya and the situation which had 
obtained in Ottoman territory for two months 
inimical to Italian subjects. This had par- 
ticular reference to the prevention by the 
Turkish authorities of Italians leaving Syria. 
Turkey's naval forces, even including the 
German cruisers Goeben and Breslau, were 
comparatively negligible, and were already 
neutralized by the presence off the Dardanelles 
of a strong Franco-British Fleet, not to mention 
the Russian forces in the Black Sea. The 
new declaration of war, therefore, did not 
affect the naval situation. 

By a decree, the text of which was published 
in the London Gazette on July 23, 1915, the 
whole of the Adriatic Sea was declared closed 
to merchant vessels of all nations, except those 
bound to Montenegrin or Italian ports possess- 
ing a permit of the Italian Ministry of War. 
The Adriatic thus became, like the North Sea, 
a controlled " military area." Two mouths 
earlier, or on her entry into the war, Italy had 
declared a blockade of the Albanian coast. 
It was announced that the Italian Government, 
considering that some ports on this coast were 
used by Austria for the clandestine revictuallinn 
of their' small units, declared as from May 26, 
1915, a blockade (1) of the Austro-Hungariiin 
coast from the Italian frontier on the south, 
including all islands, ports, gulfs, roadsteads 
and bays, and (2) of the Albanian shore from 
the Montenegrin frontier on the north to Cape 
Kiephali, inclusive, to the south. Steps were 



to be taken in conformity with the rules of 
international law against vessels seeking to 
cross the line between Cape Otranto and Cape 

The next phase of the work of the Italian 
Navy, and a most important one, is summed up 
in the one word " transport." Operations of 
the greatest magnitude were undertaken success- 
fully between the Italian mainland p,nd the 
coast of Albania. These operations afforded 
direct and invaluable aid to the two small but 
gallant Powers, Montenegro and Serbia, and 
were of great service to the Allied cause in 
general. They were divided into three parts, 
carried out in as many periods. During the 
first period, the late summer of 1915, the object 
was the supply of food and ammunition to 
the. sorely tried populations and armies of 
Montenegro and Serbia. Following this, the 
town and bay of Valona, the nearest harbour 
in Albania to the Italian coast, were occupied 
by an Italian force and transformed into a 
suitable base for naval and military use. 
Thirdly, there was rendered possible by the 
last-named the difficult undertaking of the 
retreat and withdrawal oversea of the remnant 
of the Serbian Army. Of the first phase 
little need be said, as the naval interest of the 

attempt to send succour to the two Balkan 
Powers which threw in their lot with the Allies 
\v;i^ subordinate to the political and military 
standpoints, and the protection afforded to 
the shipping by the Italian Fleet, in conjunction 
with tin? Franco-British forces, was similar 
to that exercised all over the seas of the world. 
Of the second and third phases, however, 
there are some striking facts to be recorded. 
It was during the first week in December, 
1915, that reports through enemy agencies 
were first, circulated that an Italian expedition 
had crossed the Adriatic and landed in Albania. 
On December 16 the Rome Government was 
able to break its silence in this respect with 
the welcome announcement that the expedition 
was an accomplished fact. It was announced 
that the only action against the undertaking 
which the enemy had been able to accomplish 
was the attack made by a strong detachment 
of destroyers upon some small merchant ships 
(mostly sailing vessels), which formed part 
of the numerous boats employed for the pro- 
visioning of the Albanian coast. This action 
in no way interfered with the magnitude or 
frequency of the communications with Albania. 
It was officially declared that, in spite of all 
the enemy attempts, only one chartered vessel, 
the Re Umberto, built in 1892, of 1,182 tons 

(Italian NfulofficU pho!ofra['li. 





not, and ono i lest roycr, the Intrepido, were 
suuk. Both of them struck floating mines in a 
part of the se?. which had only just before been 
carefully swept, but the prompt and skilful 
n:-t ion of escorting vessels rescued those on 
board, except 40 men from the transport and 
three from the destroyer. 

Onco the Italians had secured a foothold in 
Albania, they made rapid progress with their 
heavy task. At the end of December it \\ ; 
reported that work on the roads from Valona 
\\\-,; being actively pushed on, especially the 
roads to the north, as those ioined others from 
Durazzo to Albassan. in Central Albania. 
Early in January, after incredible engineering 
difficulties, the expeditionary force was success- 
ful in opening up a permanent line of com- 
munication, 60 miles in length, between 
Valona and Durazzo. Naturally large quanti- 
ties of material had to be shipped across the 

Adriatic, in addition to the ordinary military 
equipment and stores, and the immunity with 
which this ::< carried out tostiliod to the efli- 
eieney of t he naval iirraiiyiueut-s. On February 
21. liIKi, the authorities at Rome were able to 
publish a very satisfactory report upon the-e 
operations. Since the middle of .Decembi r. 
it was stated, there had been transnoi-le I 
between the western and eastern shore- of the 
Lower Adriatic 260,000 men and some thousands 
of animal.--, a, tola 1 c f 2.50 steamers boiiiM 
employed in the work. During the same time 
300,000 cwt. of materials were transported in 
100 ste:;iuors, most of which were of small 
tonnage, in order that they might be able to 
put in on the opposite shore of the Adriatic. 
Under the. escort of Italian and Allied ships 
during the same period sovereigns and princes 
of foreign royal houses six times accomplished 
the s:mie crossing, and foreign ministers and 




political, civil, and military authorities still 
more frequently. The report concluded: 

The enemy attempted to impede this extensive and 
complex movement by continual activity in the air, by 
mining certain sen areas, and often by attempting to 
bring into action squadrons of torpedo-boat destroyers, 
supported by scouts or light cruisers, and, lastly, by 
nineteen submarine attacks. In spite of all these 
attempts, and the fact that the operations had to be 
carried on within a restricted area of water and along 
routes and towards points of anchorage which were 
necessarily obligatory, the ships were escorted so well 
that, apart from trifling incidents mentioned in previous 
oomnumiqutl, the sinking of only three small steamers 
ha to be recorded, of which two struck mines, and the 
third was torpedoed after the unloading operations had 
been completed. Not a single Serbian soldier was lost 
ill x'a. Our ships and those of the Allies, whenever 
circumstances would allow, counter-attacked the enemy 
with iltM-ition and effect. In the early part of January 

as several large enemy cruisers and destroyers 
were threatening the retreat of the whole 
fleet." Unofficially, the Austrian force win 
stated to have comprised the light cruiser 
Helgoland, two other scout cruisers and 
destroyers, and a submarine was also said to 
have been among their losses. Interesting as 
showing the degree of co-operation between 
the fleets of Italy, France, and Great Britain 
was the statement in the Austrian report that 
" amongst the enemy ships were clearly recog- 
nized a British cruiser of the Bristol and Fal- 
mouth type and a French cruiser. :> This 
lively little scrap was the subject of a letter in 
the Austrian papers a, few weeks afterwards. 


an Austrian submarine WHS sunk, while two more in all 
probability were lost during the same period, and an 
enemy seaplane was <-;u1 nred near Valona. 

Of these Austrian efforts to hamper the 
transport operations, one on December 5, 1915, 
has already been referred to in connexion with 
the work of the auxiliary patrols of the Italian 
Navy. Another raid, on December 28, 1915, 
resulted in disaster for the Austrians. One of 
their destroyer flotillas left Cattaro with the in- 
tention of bombarding Durazzo, where they did. 
it \vas claimed from Vienna, shell the land bat- 
teries and sink a steamer and sailing vessel in 
the harbour. Allied flotillas, however, steamed 
out to cut off the retreat of the i aiders, and 
engaged them. The destroyer Triglav was 
sunk, and her sister was forced upon some 
mines and blown up. The Austrian version 
was that the Triglav was taken in tow after 
being mined, but was sunk by her own cr, w. 

[Itaiun \' official photog iip'A. 

tho writer being an officer in an Austrian 
cruiser. He wrote : 

\\ e set out two hours before dawn on an enterprise 
against tho Italian coast and some supply ships which 
hat! been detected by our air scouts on i!ic previous day. 
Our force consisted of three li^li; cruiser-; and a destroyer 
flotilla. Shortly after leaving port we sighted an enemy 
Mihmurine ;:nd chased it, but without effect. No doubt 
thi . boat signalled our approach to th- enemy. For on 
cnmi'ig within a few miles of our objective \\e -nw a lot 
of smoke, and a few minutes Inter picked up H uln'l-- 
squadron of ships hearing down at high speed. There 
wore French, Italian and English vessels m the enemy 
force. Our destroyers boldly advanced to the attack , 
the thick weather favouring them. Shots were already 
striking the water beyond us in the cruisers, and so our 
leaders signalled us to retreat at full speed. As we wont 
we !?aw our destroyers getting it hot. The sea boiled 
under the enemy's cannonade, to which we, made an 
effective reply. All was going well, and wo were just 
congratulating our.-.eb es on having got out of an ugly 
scrape when tho destroyer Triglav, which was racing 
along on our port quarter, was struck by a huge shell or 
fouled a mine. We never knew which. Suddenly a 
tremendous column of smoke and water rose under her, 
and when thi- fell the boat had disappeared. Nothing 



hut tuf.i stru^linj: in the water. We could not stop, us 
some enemy destroyers were well within rtinj^e. Tin- 
next astern of the Triylav wu- the Lika. u similar boat. 
She w.>.- steiiiuin^ hiv<i!y, having received u shot in the 
Iniiler-. As we watched her she was hit twice in >ueces- 
-lon and her speed fell otT visibly. Suddenly she hlew 
up trom what cause we never knew and disappeared 
in ft whirlpool of foam. A^ain we could not stop, hut 
had to dra-.v iiway with heavy hearts, thinking of our 
gallant comrades, who had gone lo their death. Fortu- 
nately, niu:>v rri'-riiliers of hoth crews were picked up by 
the enemy. Our ship wns not touched at all. though we 
had several narrow squeaks. Even at long ranye the 
enemy's tire was so hot from their light quick-firers that 
i' sounded exactly like the roll of a drum. 

Tin' third phase of the Italian operations 
off the Albanian coast may he said to lia\e 
openetl on January 11, 1916, when French 
troops landed at Corfu to prepare for the 
arrival at that place of the Serbian troops. A 
statement published jointly .-by the Allied 
Powers declared that their Government-; 
deemed it an obligation of humanity to transfer 
to Corfu that portion of the Serbian Army 
which was then in Albania. The task of 
revictualling these troops would thus be sim- 
plified, it was declared, and the Powers took 
this stop in the belief that Greece would not 
feel compelled to oppose a measure that would 
redound to the benefit of her Ally, and would 
in any case be of brief duration. The landing 
of the first troops in Corfu was satisfactorily 

and expeditiou.sly accomplished on January 15. 
<>1 course, the humane character of this under- 
taking of removing the battered and broken 
remainder of the Serbian Army, includiiu: t he 
sick and wounded, did not influence, the 
Austrians to withhold attacks upon the sea 
route over which the ships passed, but the 
immunity enjoyed by the Serbians, ami referred 
to in the official communique on February 24, 
l!H(i. was maintained, so far as authoritative 
reports showed. On June !), I'IKi. however, 
the Italian transport Principe Umberto, of 
",!>:?!( tons, was sunk by submarine in the 
Lower Adriatic. Three steamers transporting 
troops and war material, and escorted by a 
flotilla of destroyers, were attacked by two 
submarines of the Austrian flotilla, and although 
the latter, on being discovered, were promptly 
counter-attacked, one of their torpedoes struck 
the Principe Umberto, which sank within a 
few minutes. In spite of the life-saving 
facilities at the disposal ot the convoy, said the 
Rome semi-official report, and the prompt 
assistance of other units in those waters, about 
half the troops on board the transport were 


Following on the successful withdrawal of 
the Serbians, the town of Durazzo passed from 




the hands of the Allies into those of Austria, 
the enomy troops taking possession on 
February 27, 1916. On February 26 a report 
from Rome stated that the withdrawal of the 
Serbian. Montenegrin, and Albanian troops 
from Albania had been completed, and that the 
Italian brigade at Durazzo had also embark od, 
the Albanian Government having left the 
place. The Italian Fleet, after covering the 
embarkation of the Italian troops, continued 
to bombard the roads leading to Durazzo, pre- 
venting the enemy entering the town in force, 
and setting the port in flames. It was a fine 
tribute to the skill of the Italian seamen and 
gunners that, in spite of the bad weather which 
prevailed at the time, they were able to reduce 
the enemy's batteries and keep the coast roads 
under fire until all the Italian troops which 
had been sent to Durazzo to cover the evacua- 
tion of the Serbians were embarked without 
mishap and taken to Valona. Not a single 
Italian gun was loft behind at Durazzo, but all 
the old Turkish guns were abandoned and 

Tn a raid by the Austrian light cruiser 
Novara on July 9, 1916, two British drifters, 
forming part of the Allied patrol in the southern 
part of the Adriatic, were sunk with los of life. 
These drifters formed part of the Allied cordon 
drawn across the entrance to the Adriatic Sea, 
and therefore covered the transport operations 
to and from Albania, in the same manner that 
the Dover patrol protected the flank of the 
transport of the British armies across the 
English Channel. The British Admiral in the 

Adriatic reported that the Novara came upon 
a group ot drifter*, of which two the Astrum 
Spei and Clavis, were sunk, and tne Frigate 
Bird and Ben Bui damaged, but not suf- 
ficiently to prevent them returning to port. 
The crew of tho Astrum Spei were taken 
prisoners and among the remainder of the 
boats there were ten killed and eight wounded. 


Having been caught signalling to an Austrian 

The incident was grossly exaggerate. 1 in the 
following wireless message of the enemy : 

Our cruiser Novara met in the Otranto Straits with a 
i^roiip of five, or acr-onlin^ to statements made unani- 
mously by prisoners who \ver taken^five armed 
English patrol ships, an<! destroyed them all with eannon 
fire. All the steamers sank in flames, and three of them 
after an explosion of the boilf . 

The Straits of Otranto were the scene of 
another patrol craft action on December 22, 
1916, when several Austrian vessels opened 
an attack on some small guardships in the 

'////: TlMI-:s HlSTOltV OF THE IT. I/,'. 

Sir. '.its, )>ut were iinnir<lii:.ti'ly perceived by 
r'rench destroyers. After a very lively and 
violent fire on both sides, the enemy, pursued 
l>y sciuie other Italian and Allied units which 
had been sent to assist, succeeded in the 
darkness in escaping. One French destroyer 
and one guardship in the Straits sustained 
insignificant material damage. The Austrian 

[Italian \aval official pholcgraph. 


official account mentioned four of their de- 
stroyers, and declared that on the return 
journey these boats encountered six powerful 
destroyers, understood to be of the Italian 
Indomito class. 

Nearly five months later the Austrian* 
swooped down from Cattaro and executed a 
raid upon the line of patrols in the Straits of 
Otranto, with a large measure of success, 
fourteen British drifters being sunk. The 
Admiralty announced on May 18, 1917, that 
from reports received from tlv Rear-Admiral 
Commanding British Adriatic Squadron, sup- 
plemented by an Italian despatch issued to 
the Press, it appeared that early on the morning 
of the 15th an Austrian force, consisting of 
light cruisers, which were subsequently rein- 
forced by destroyers, raided the Allied drifter 
line in the Adriatic, and succeeded in sinking 
fourteen British drifters : 

2284 Admirable 
2114 Avondale 
2112 Coral Ha\. ,, 
2271 Craignoon 
1 :!!>!> Kelicitos 
isii'.l Girl Gracie 
2714 Girl Rose 

2274 Helenora 

2414 Quarry Knowe 

2711 Selby 

218(i Serene 

215") Taits 

L'i:U Transit 

1916 Young Linnet 

.-ti'tement ) 72 prisoners were trket'. ll.M.S 
Dartmouth (Captain A. P. Addison. H.N.), 
with the Italian Rear-Admiral on board, and 
II. M.S. Bristol immediately drove the enemy 
oil. assist. '(1 by French and Italian light cruisers 
and destroyers. The chase was kept up, 
with the enemy under heavy and continuous 
lire, till near Cattaro. when, some enemy 

from which (according to an Austrian official 

Italian Nuvil official photograph. 


battleships coming out in support of their 
cruisers, our vessels drew off. Italian airmen, 
after a battle in the air. attacked the Austrian 
warships outside Cattaro. and they confidently 
assert that one of the enemy cruisers was 
heavily on fire, and was being taken in tow 
off Cattaro in a sinking condition : one other 
enemy cruiser was reported by the British 
Admiral as being badly damaged. During 
her passage back II. M.S. Dartmouth was 
struck by a torpedo from an enemy submarine, 
but returned into port with three men killed 
and one officer and four men missing -believed 
dead and seven wounded. There were no 
other casualties to our ships. 

In this encounter the British vessels played 
a glorious if unsuccessful part. The high speed 
of the Dartmouth and Bristol enabled them to 
maintain contact with the flying enemy for 
user two hours, during which time heav\ 
punishment was indicted upon the Austrian 
light cruisers of the Novara type. On May 21 
it was' announced in the House of Commons 
that the First Sea Lord had received messages 
from the Italian Minister of Marine and 

CommaDder-in-Chief. The former, Admiivl 
Corsi, telegraphed to Sir John Jellicoe : " I 

convey to you my warmest admiration for the 



way in which H.M.S. Dartmouth, fighting 
against superior forces, nobly upheld the finest 
traditions of the British Navy." Similarly, 
Admiral Thaon di Revel telegraphed : " Please 
express Chief Naval Staff, Admiral Jellicoe, my 
hearty congratulations for brilliant action 
fought by H.M.S. Dartmouth, which, although 
torpedoed, was able to return safely to 

Attention was first directed to the services 
of British fishermen in mine-sweeping craft 
in the Adriatic in January, 1917, when t